States Impose Tougher DUI Laws
Legislators in South Carolina have signed a bill that will raise the maximum jail time for DUI offenders from five to seven years, impose tougher penalties for motorists who refuse to take a field sobriety test, and increase the punishment for those who have a blood alcohol content higher than the legal limit. Legislators believe that this new law will “improve the DUI conviction rate and make the prosecution process easier for the department and the prosecutors.” Laws regarding the treatment of individuals arrested on suspicion of a DUI are becoming more stringent.
The law will become effective in February. Among other things, this law will also stop requiring officers to have to read Miranda’s rights three times. According to police officers, that provided a way out for offenders who would avoid conviction by pointing out that the arresting officer missed one reading. The law would also get rid of community service as a sentencing option for repeat offenders. In addition, suspects who refuse to take a blood alcohol test could have their license suspended for six months instead of 90 days.
Driving under the influence is like any other charge. You are innocent until proven guilty. An officer reading you your Miranda rights is not a “loophole.” That law was in place so the person who is arrested can clearly understand what is happening to him or her. These laws are in place to protect citizens’ rights.
The trend is to reduce the possibility of receiving alternative sentencing if found guilty and most DMVs are moving towards longer license suspensions for those convicted of DUIs. A good DUI defense attorney can make all the difference in the world in your case and can often mean the difference between jail time and walking free.