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Conway Criminal Law Blog

Understanding what impairment means can help you avoid a DUI

South Carolina residents and tourists alike enjoy the area’s beautiful weather and beaches, which provide many options for fun and recreational activities. These activities may sometimes involve alcohol, and while partaking in a few drinks when relaxing or on vacation is normal and even expected, it is important to understand what constitutes impairment, to avoid a DUI charge if you will be driving.

A DUI arrest or conviction can have major consequences, including heavy fines, the loss of a driver’s license, or even time in jail. This can be especially distressing if you came to South Carolina for a vacation, and now find yourself facing a DUI charge.

There is no set number of drinks to reach impairment

Here are some things to keep in mind to properly gauge your impairment level. Remember that there is no set number of drinks that makes a person impaired. Rather, alcohol affects everyone differently. There are many different factors that impact how alcohol will affect you, such as your weight, hydration level prior to or while consuming the alcohol and what you’ve eaten.

Generally, smaller people will feel the effects of alcohol impairment faster because the alcohol will be more concentrated in their bloodstream. For this same reason, alcohol typically stays in a smaller person’s system longer than a heavier person.

All types of drinks affect impairment

A common misconception is that hard liquor leads to greater impairment than drinks such as wine and beer, but this is not true. The amount of alcohol in a standard serving of beer, wine or liquor is relatively the same. Impairment does not depend on the specific type of drink, but the amount of alcohol in your system over a certain time. Therefore, do not assume because you only drank beer, you will be fine to drive.

Even the most responsible of residents and tourists can make a mistake and underestimate their impairment levels, suddenly finding themselves pulled over and arrested for a DUI. If this happens to you, do not panic. There are plenty of defenses available to a DUI charge, and many people obtain reduced or dismissed charges. An experienced DUI attorney can analyze every aspect of your case and arrest and charge to establish any available defenses.