Myrtle Beach DUI Laws and Penalties
Despite the fact that the National Highway Safety Committee recently emphasized that more fatal DUI accidents occur in South Carolina than in other states, the penalties are still severe.
How can Myrtle Beach Police Department officers determine whether someone is driving under the influence of alcohol? Under South Carolina law, officers can administer breathalyzer tests along with other methods for determining a driver’s intoxication. In short, if you are 21 years of age or older, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent can result in a DUI charge. Even if a driver has a BAC of at least 0.05 percent but under 0.08 percent, that driver still may be charged with a DUI based on additional supporting evidence.
Depending upon whether a DUI conviction is a first offense or a subsequent offense, a drunk driver can face anywhere from a fine of $400, 48 hours imprisonment, and a suspended license to a fine of $6,300, five years of imprisonment, and a suspended license. However, as a fact sheet from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) points out, “50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.” As such, even if Myrtle Beach Police Department DUI checkpoints help to take drunk drivers off the roads temporarily, crashes can still happen. If you were involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should discuss your options for filing a claim with a Myrtle Beach DUI injury attorney.
Learning More About Drunk Driving Statistics in Myrtle Beach
How often do Myrtle Beach residents and visitors sustain serious injuries in drunk driving accidents? A fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that fatal DUI accidents remain a serious problem in South Carolina and across the country. To be sure, each day, around 28 people suffer fatal injuries in a car crash involving a drunk driver. To put that number another way, one person dies in an alcohol-related collision every 53 minutes in our country. In terms of financial losses, alcohol-impaired drivers are implicated in more than $44 billion in damage every year.
What other facts and figures should you know about drunk driving in Myrtle Beach, SC and across the country? The CDC cites the following facts and figures:
- Drunk driving accounts for more than 30 percent of all traffic fatalities each year;
- Nearly 10,000 people sustained fatal injuries in 2014 in accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver;
- In 2014, 1,070 children under the age of 15 suffered fatal injuries in auto accidents, and nearly 20 percent of those crashes (or, 209 child injury fatalities) involved a drunk driver;
- About half of all kids under the age of 15 who are killed in traffic collisions involving an alcohol-impaired driver are passengers in the drunk driver’s vehicle;
- More than 1.1 million drivers were arrested for DUIs in 2014, yet that number represents only one percent of the drivers who self-report that they have engaged in drunk driving behavior; and
- Sobriety checkpoints tend to reduce drunk driving crashes, on average, by nearly 10 percent.