Officer Wrecked Cruiser, Arrested for DUI
A police officer from North Charleston was arrested on DUI charges early in the morning on Monday, April 22nd, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
29-year-old Christina Mask was reportedly headed east on McMakin Road in Jedburg when the fully marked patrol car – a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria – ran off the road and struck a driveway culvert, reports Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres.
The wreck occurred at about 1 AM, when Mask was off duty. She was wearing a seatbelt at the time, the report states.
She was charged with DUI and open container.
Mask has been put on administrative leave without pay. She has been an employee of the North Charleston police department since 2009.
DUI Charges and Open Container Laws in South Carolina
Currently, federal legislation does not regulate open container laws, including open containers in vehicles, so states regulate the specific details of open containers and DUI legislation. However, the Transportation Equality Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) is a federal regulation that gives some guidelines for open container laws, and states have been encouraged to adopt the regulation. Most states have now adopted some form of TEA-21, which prohibits open alcohol containers in vehicles, the consumption of alcohol in vehicles, prohibits open containers in vehicles that are stopped, including on the side of the road, and prohibits open alcohol containers in the passenger’s area, including in an unlocked glove compartment.
Possession of an open container of alcohol in the vehicle can imply drunk driving, and you could face field sobriety tests, tickets, and a DUI arrest.
In South Carolina, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08. State law prohibits anyone from driving after drinking if they are “materially and appreciably impaired.” DUI in South Carolina carries harsh penalties, including:
· Fines ranging from $400 and $6,300, depending on how many DUI offenses you have committed, and how high your BAC was;
· Prison time ranging between 2 days and 5 years
· Confiscation of your vehicle
· Revoked driver’s license
Receiving a DUI charge, even for one offense, can cost you time and money, ruin your reputation at work and in the community, and hurt your family life. You could face complicated court battles, and a stain on your public record.
Under the new DUI statute, the proof rests on a mere reading of a machine to determine the culpability of a suspected DUI driver. These statutes, often referred to as per se, define DUI as driving a motor vehicle on a road or highway with a blood alcohol level of at least .08. he State must show that you were impaired at the time of driving. Quite often the test is taken a few hours later and, if you had consumed alcohol just before driving, the test would be higher than your actual level when driving.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Charges
If you have questions or concerns about the evidence gathered for your DUI charge, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. You do not have to suffer the consequences of a DUI charge in silence. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.