News 12 demonstrates how DUI can cost you

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

The Fourth of July weekend means more parties, and more officers out catching drunk drivers.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol today announced they'll have more officers on the road for the holiday to catch impaired drivers and speeders. Studies show Independence Day weekend is one of the deadliest times to be on the roads. That's why officers won't budge an inch if they catch you drinking and driving.

We hear it every holiday...but what is it really like to be arrested for DUI?

News 12's Stephanie Baker got an inside look. In a demonstration, she went through exactly what happens when a driver gets booked for DUI.

The following is a transcript of that simulation.

A night out with friends...a bad judgment call...and now the party is over.

"Have you had anything to drink tonight?" the officer asked me.

"Just a couple."

In reality I hadn't had any alcohol...this is just a demonstration.

"Step to the rear of the vehicle."

On the field Breathalyzer, I'm over the legal limit of 0.08.

"I thought 1 or 2 drinks would be okay. I didn't know that would put me over the limit."

"Well, unfortunately there's many factors involved...body weight, how often you drink," the officer said.

Columbia County deputies say this happens three to four times every weekend, and there's zero tolerance. If they catch you drinking and driving, you go straight to jail.

Across the CSRA on a holiday weekend, dozens could take this ride to jail.

The officer checks my blood alcohol level again, this time with the Intoxalizer 5000. "It gets a more accurate result of the alcohol content in your blood."

And that confirms it: 0.107.

They took my shoes and all my jewelry and put me in a holding cell. For DUI, I could have to stay there for up to two hours.

A few minutes was bad enough.

Teenagers, mothers, professionals...officers see all types of people in for drunk driving.

"So is this going to be on my record forever? Will it ever go away?"

"No ma'am," the officer said. "It will be on there till the end of time."

"This picture...it's public, right? Anyone can see it?"

"Yes ma'am."

Bond is $1100 per count. Add in attorney's fees, and this could be a $10,000 ordeal.

If I can't come up with the money, I could be in jail up to thirty days...possibly in a cell with other inmates.

That's what happens if you get pulled over for drunk driving. Hundreds die in alcohol-related crashes every year in Georgia and South Carolina. That's why officers have zero tolerance on the roads.

And all this can be avoided...simply by handing over the keys.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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