DUI defense specialist Ronnie Cole

A 38-year lawyer gave a Seneca audience this afternoon an informative and entertaining talk about the perils of driving in a drunken manner—especially in a state that comes down hard on those who commit DUI. Ronnie Cole of Anderson is known as a specialist in defending those charged with driving under the influence. And, for that, his reputation is known throughout the upstate and in other parts of South Carolina. Cole brought props to illustrate the seriousness with which DUI is treated. They included an inter-lock ignition device that prevents a car from starting if a driver blows an alcoholic breath. And he brought a court-ordered bracelet—what he called Lindsay Lohan jewelry. That prompted laughter from the Seneca Rotary Club audience. But Cole says it’s serious stuff. Just try to get through airport screening wearing one of those. The worst effect of DUI is death on the highways. But it’s also an expensive proposition for anyone charged—let alone convicted. You can lose a good job. The financial penalties are stiff. Cole and his associates charge a fee that ranges from $6 to $8 thousand a case.