Sheriff Criticizes South ...

Sheriff Criticizes South Carolina's DUI Laws After Man Driving at 107 mph is Charged With Drunk Driving

In Kershaw County, South Carolina, a driver has been accused of reaching 107 mph while he was intoxicated with an open can of beer and half-empty gallon bottle of vodka in his car.

Wistv.com reported the driver reached speeds in excess of 100 mph on Interstate 20. The Sheriff's department said Matthew Christopher Temples, aged 25, of Newberry, was arrested after he was stopped for running 107 mph near mile marker 105 in Kershaw County.

Kershaw County Sheriff Matthews told the media Temples was "drunk at the time of his arrest and was charged with DUI (3rd offense), DUS (2nd offense) and having open containers of alcohol in his vehicle."

Reports stated Temples was "weaving in and out of traffic" and passing other vehicles in the emergency lane. During the traffic stop, a deputy reported he discovered an open can of beer and a half-empty gallon vodka bottle.

The Sheriff said Temples' blood alcohol level was later determined to be .18, according to the TV report.

"It seems reasonable to assume that Temples was a serious accident waiting to happen," said Matthews. "Fortunately a deputy was able to take Temples off the road before he crashed and killed himself or some innocent people."

The report cited a DMV records check that revealed Temples had two former DUI convictions and was driving under suspension because of a previous DUI charge, according to the sheriff, who had some critical comments about South Carolina's DUI laws.

"Our DUI laws must be strengthened to keep these repeat offenders off the roads," Matthews said "Maybe one day our legislators will get serious about the DUI problem in South Carolina and enact some tough DUI laws. Until then, South Carolina will continue to be one of the worst states in the nation for DUI fatalities."

The media reports suggest this may have been an extreme case. However, we represent many drivers who have been charged with drunk driving. Often representation by an experienced criminal attorney, may help you avoid harsh penalties.

Notwithstanding the Sheriff's comments about South Carolina's DUI laws, you may face tough penalties if you have been charged with a DUI.

For a first conviction, you can face a fine of $400 and between 48 hours and 30 days in a county jail. An alternative is 48 hours of community service. The sentence becomes more severe if you are found to have a high blood alcohol concentration.

There are tougher consequences for second and third offenses. As well as the criminal sanctions, drivers who are convicted of drunk driving will most likely lose their licenses for a period ranging from six months for a first offense to two years for a third offense. After a fourth offense, you could lose your license altogether.

However, the fact you have failed a field sobriety test or a chemical test, does not always mean you will be convicted. We have seen cases in which police have made errors administrating the test or violated Fourth Amendment rights. Talk to our Columbia, SC DUI lawyers if you have been charged with drunk driving. Call Masella Law at 803.748.9990.

Categories: Criminal Defense

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