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Charleston Legal Blog

College kids can gain criminal records by possessing alcohol

There are a number of violations that the state of South Carolina can charge a college kid with when it comes to alcohol. Perhaps considered relatively innocuous is the minor in possession code section. However, it is a crime to possess alcohol when under the age of 21, much less drink it.

Section 20-7-8920 relates to precisely this crime, the one applicable to the college kid who is engaging in underage drinking, the favorite pastime of many young adults as they leave home to live on campus.

3 things you should never do after a DUI arrest

When a police officer places you under arrest for drunk driving, you likely feel frustration and confusion. You may feel the urge to argue with law enforcement or represent yourself. However, making these mistakes after a DUI arrest will only make things worse for you. 

If you say or do the wrong things while under arrest, you can face harsher DUI penalties under South Carolina law than you would otherwise. Here are three things you should never do when you are facing a potential DUI conviction. 

3 things to never do after a car accident

Most people will become involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. According to data collected by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety in 2015, there was approximately one car crash every 3.9 minutes in the state. One person suffered an injury from a car crash approximately once every nine minutes. 

There are certain things you should definitely do after a motor vehicle accident. You should exchange insurance information with the other driver and take photos of the scene. However, there are certain actions you need to avoid at all costs because they can come back to haunt you if this collision makes its way to a courtroom. 

How to talk to teens about drinking and driving

No one should get behind the wheel of a vehicle after a night of drinking. However, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1.6 percent of adults in South Carolina drove a car while intoxicated within the last 30 days of the initial report. It is frightening to think about how many teens in the state drove while drunk during that period. 

There is a zero tolerance policy for teens when it comes to drinking and driving. While adults can technically have a blood alcohol content level lower than 0.08, teens cannot have anything. Therefore, it is paramount for parents to talk to their teenagers about the dangers. Many parents do not know where to start, so here are some pointers for the conversation. 

How will DUI affect your plans for college and after?

Whether you intend to start college or are already on campus, a conviction for driving under the influence can alter your life dramatically. It can also affect your future employment opportunities.

Policies concerning student misdemeanors and felonies differ among institutions of higher learning, but most will deny you admission if you lie about a DUI conviction. The same holds true for potential employers.

Your misdemeanor for underage DUI can turn into a felony

If you are a college student here in South Carolina and you have a car at school, you might have or eventually make friends who do not have their own transportation. Good times together may include some drinking, but remember the warning: Do not drink and drive.

The penalties for drinking and driving in this state are harsh. A misdemeanor for driving under the influence can turn into a felony conviction, which should not be any part of your college education.

Did you suffer a slip-and-fall injury at a neighbor's?

Falls are among the most frequent causes of injuries seen by emergency room personnel. A slip-and-fall can happen anywhere — at a pool or your local supermarket, in your backyard or your neighbor’s kitchen.

Many times, a fall occurs because of negligence on the part of a property owner. The problem could be due to an obstacle someone trips over or a slip someone experiences when traction is lost between the surface of the floor and the bottom of a shoe or foot.

Is swearing in public disorderly conduct?

Which of the five scenarios can be considered "disorderly conduct"?

1. Swearing when accidently slamming your hand in the car door in the parking lot at church.

2. Having one too many glasses of wine at a restaurant and weaving as you walk out.

3. Firing your gun into the air at the end of your driveway on New Year's Eve.

4. Telling an off color joke in an elevator to your friend.

5. Having a large dance party at your own house and when the police arrive telling them to either dance or leave as they were not invited.

Technically, in one way or another, the police could decide to charge you with disorderly conduct for ANY of the above. This is because South Carolina law is vague when it comes to what exactly constitutes disorderly conduct.

What not to do following a vehicle accident

While it is true that a car crash can leave you feeling dazed and shaky, there are certain things you must remember to do in the aftermath and certain things you should definitely not do. Your first move will probably be instinctive: Check yourself and everyone else for injuries.

Calling 911 would be a good next step, followed by contacting the police. Exchanging information with the other driver is probably on your to-do list at this point, but be careful what you say and do from here on out.

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