The winter weather swept the coast recently, snow accumulations ranged from 1.5 inches to 2 inches of snow in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee areas. I am not at all familiar with snow and I realized last night just how difficult it is to drive while it is snowing. The forecast shows the cold temperatures are to continue this week and there is a chance of snowfall as well. The conditions on the road will be wet and visibility may be impaired due to the weather as well. Along with the chilly conditions, the tourist season is quickly approaching and law enforcement is letting their presence be known along the Grand Strand and surrounding areas.
Your cautious driving may alert law enforcement and you could be pulled over. The police might mistakenly charge you with reckless driving. Most states carry reckless driving charges that prohibit a driver from operating a vehicle in a manner that shows a reckless disregard for the safety of others. The South Carolina statute specifically provides, that “any person who drives a vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Examples of reckless driving may include: swerving on the roadways, traveling over the posted speed limit, and crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle.
The offense of reckless driving requires the conscious failure to exercise due care. The burden is on the state to prove you possessed the requisite intent to be convicted of this traffic offense. Consider, where a motorist passes a school bus without stopping but he does so ignorantly or unthinkingly. The motorist does in fact drive slowly while looking out for school children. In this example, the motorist could not be charged with reckless driving. Consider, instead, a motorist who continues to drive consciously disregarding the fact that is sleepy and cannot keep his eyes open while driving. This motorist has shown a reckless disregard for the safety of others and therefore, can be guilty of reckless driving.
If you find yourself facing reckless driving charges, contact your local attorney Daniel Selwa today. You could be innocent of the charges if the police officer was mistaken or there may be another legal defense that justifies your conduct.