The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce estimates that in 2010, over 14 million visitors flocked to the area to enjoy low country seaside vacations. In fact, Fox News claims Myrtle Beach is now the second most popular spring break destination for college students, just behind Panama City, Florida.
But with the influx of visitors looking for a good time by the ocean, there will also be a lot of drinking. The parties may go on forever, but your driving privileges won’t if you get busted for DUI in Myrtle Beach.
What is Legal Intoxication (or Impairment) Limit in South Carolina?
If you operate a motor vehicle in the State of South Carolina, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.08 percent, you are considered legally impaired. This is much lower for some drivers, however. For minors (those under the age of 21), the zero tolerance laws make the legal limit just 0.02 percent. That means just about any alcohol at all in your system is going to trigger a DUI if you are under 21. Also, commercial drivers have to be especially careful. The legal limit for a CDL driver is just 0.04 percent.
Can I be Arrested if I’m Below the Legal Limit?
Yes. Even if your BAC is below the applicable legal limit, it is important to remember that BAC is just one type of evidence. If you are visibly intoxicated, stumbling, or your speech is slurred, a police officer may detain you on suspicion of other intoxicating substances as well. You can be charged with DUI, even if you’re below the legal limit. It just depends on your case.
Do More People Really Drive Drunk During Spring Break?
Absolutely yes. According to a report by Time, a review of 14 tourist destinations nationwide revealed that the risk of death due to impaired driving went up by as much as 9.1 percent. The report further suggests that the risk is even higher for those under the age of 25 and those who are unfamiliar with the area, such as out-of-towners. So, for those living in the Myrtle Beach area, this should be a serious warning that indeed there is a much higher risk, not only of drunk driving accidents and injuries, but also for police being out looking for drunk drivers.
Avoiding a DUI this Spring Break
If you are a local or just in town for the Spring, try to think ahead. Build responsible partying into your itinerary. Here are 5 quick and easy tips for staying safe, keeping your license, and having a great time in Myrtle Beach.
- Use rideshares
Lyft and Uber both operate in Myrtle Beach, so let the competition work to your benefit.
- Try hotel shuttles
If you’re staying at a local hotel, don’t forget to ask about shuttle services to and from nightlife. Sometimes this can be a great cash savings on your vacation, as many shuttles are built in to the cost of your room.
- Eat when you drink
There’s a reason why bars serve food. It helps to avoid binge drinking. Make sure you are eating and pacing yourself. Try having a non-alcoholic beverage in between alcoholic beverages.
- Stay in groups, but have a sober friend
Party with company, but make sure someone is sober. If you have a designated driver (“DD”), be sure that person understands the commitment ahead of time.
- Have an exit plan
We’ve all heard stories about the DD who started drinking or changed his mind. Also, sometimes you end up somewhere and really would like to leave, but you’ve been drinking. Just have an exit plan. What will you do if you get stuck? Do you have a friend who will not be drinking who may agree to be ‘on call?’
Help With DUI Defense
As a prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer, David Aylor knows just what the police can do to get a conviction. Don’t fall for tricks or empty promises. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or other alcohol or drug-related offense while in Myrtle Beach this Spring Break, call the David Aylor Law Offices to discuss your case. Remember, never plead guilty or speak with the police until you’ve talked to your own attorney first.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.