Defining Driving in Columbia DUI Cases

Defining driving in Columbia DUI cases can be an extremely important factor in the outcome of one’s case, as the ability to show that the car was in motion while the driver was intoxicated is the crux of the issue. If an individual was intoxicated while sitting in their car, law enforcement would still have to be able to prove that the driver had alcohol in their system while they drove it to that destination. Know that a professional defense attorney can offer their assistance in these situations by advocating for the defendant with a knowledgeable legal strategy. Read on to learn more about defining driving in Columbia DUI cases, as well as the ways a skilled lawyer could fight for your defense today.

What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence?

To receive a DUI charge in South Carolina, an individual’s vehicle must be in motion while they are intoxicated. Defining driving in Columbia DUI cases is significant, as the car cannot be sitting still somewhere. When this issue comes up, it can be proven by circumstantial evidence or an admission.

To receive a DUI, the individual must be driving on a public road, a private road, or a parking lot according to South Carolina Code 56-5-2930. If a car is parked in a parking lot and not moving, then someone is not technically guilty of driving under the influence. However, if a car is parked on the side of the road on an interstate, highway, or bridge, this is circumstantial evidence that can be used in court at trial to prove that the vehicle had previously been in motion while the driver was intoxicated.

Proving a Vehicle was in Motion

The prosecution bears the burden of proof in defining driving in Columbia DUI cases and showing that the driver’s car was in motion while they were intoxicated. If an individual is in a parked car and the state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver had alcohol prior to the car arriving at its destination, the prosecution has a very weak case. It is a little bit more difficult to prove the case that a person had been under the influence of alcohol prior to arriving at a parking lot versus on the side of the road. This is an argument that can be used to defend a DUI.

Law Enforcement Stops and Arrests

Law enforcement often patrols parking lots near bars and restaurants looking for drunk drivers. The hotspots in Columbia are the Vista and Five Points. They patrol those areas Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, especially with the University of South Carolina being in Columbia. They make sure they patrol for drunk drivers especially during the hours when they believe the bars are closing. They are looking for people leaving bars, trying to see whether there is evidence of bad driving or a traffic violation so they can pull the car over and conduct an investigation. If they are successful at defining driving in Columbia DUI cases, they will be able to show these elements of the charge through evidence in court.

If you are facing DUI charges, reach out to a qualified defense attorney today experienced in legally defining driving in Columbia DUI cases to fight for your rights.