Greenville DUI Defense Attorney
Driving a car after drinking or taking drugs is illegal in South Carolina, and violating this law can result in harsh consequences. South Carolina statutes provide blood alcohol limits, testing procedures, and punishments for driving after drinking or taking drugs. Criminal and administrative penalties, such as fines, jail time, and license suspension are all possible consequences of driving under the influence or with too much alcohol in your system.
The facts surrounding your individual case determine the punishments that will likely be assigned to you. These include the seriousness of the offense, such as the percentage of alcohol in your system, whether you have a previous DUI, if you were involved in an accident, and whether you caused serious injuries. There are also negative social consequences to a DUI including humiliation and damage to your reputation, career and future employment prospects.
What Constitutes a DUI Charge in South Carolina?
A motorist in South Carolina is prohibited from driving if he or she has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of.08 percent or above and/or is under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or other mind-altering substance. If a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is hindered at all, he or she is “under the influence” of a substance, according to the law.
What is a DUI?
A DUI is a charge that results from someone driving while intoxicated. It is a criminal offense and carries possible time behind bars if you’re convicted. Although it is a serious crime, it is generally classified as a misdemeanor on the first offense.
In South Carolina, driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other prescribed medicines is illegal.
- A driver’s ability to drive a vehicle is reduced when using alcohol, illegal narcotics, prescription pharmaceuticals, and over-the-counter drugs.
- The driver is inebriated beyond the .08 BAC limit set by South Carolina law.
Call AnneMarie Odom Law today for help understanding your options if you are facing criminal charges from a DUI arrest.
What’s the Difference Between DUI and DWI in South Carolina?
The offense is traditionally referred to as Driving Under the Influence or a “DUI” in South Carolina. However, the crime is sometimes known as a “DWI” in many other states. DWI stands for “Driving While Impaired” or “Driving While Intoxicated” in most cases. Though the acronym “DUI” is used in South Carolina, the two are interchangeable. As such, if you do happen to see DWI instead of DUI, simply substitute DUI because that term is not commonly used in this state for impaired or drunk driving.
Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC)
Though it sounds similar, a DUI charge is not the same as a DUAC charge in South Carolina. This is because, unlike a DUI, no evidence of “impairment” is required for a conviction under the “per se” DUAC statute. The consequences for DUAC convictions are comparable to those for DUI convictions. Depending on prior convictions and the amount of alcohol in the driver’s system, the penalties for a DUAC may escalate significantly.
Implied ConsentAs in other states, just by driving on the state’s roads, drivers in South Carolina give permission to breath, blood, or urine testing to check for alcohol or narcotics. While you have the right to refuse, doing so often results in further penalties, including the suspension of your driver’s license.
South Carolina DUI Penalties
In South Carolina, DUI penalties vary based on the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and the number of prior DUI convictions. The DUI convictions must be within the last 10-years and out-of-state DUI convictions are counted.
First DUI Offense in South Carolina
- Punishment includes a minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 90 days in prison. The fine can range from $400 to $1,092
Second and Third DUI Offenses in South Carolina
- Second Offense DUI or DUAC: Punishment includes a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 3 years in prison.The fine can range from $2,100 to $6,500.
- Third Offense DUI or DUAC: Punishment includes a minimum of 60 days and a maximum of 5 years in prison. The fine can range from $3,800 to $10,000.
Fourth or Subsequent Offense DUI or DUAC in South Carolina
- Punishment includes a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 7 years in prison. The fine can range from $3,800 to $10,000.
When a license suspension ends, an ignition interlock device may be required in addition to the above mentioned penalties.
DUI License Suspension in South Carolina
If you are convicted of DUI/DUAC your License will be suspended. Suspensions vary based on the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and the number of convictions a person has. The convictions must be within the last 10-years and out-of-state convictions are counted.
- Suspension lengths are as follows:
- 1st offense: 6 months
- 2nd offense: 2 years
- 3rd offense: 4 years
- 4th offense: 4 years
South Carolina DUI DefensesThere are numerous defenses to a DUI charge in South Carolina, even if the prosecutor leads you to think the evidence against you is a slam dunk. Your Greenville SC DUI lawyer knows you may have a number of defenses available to you and fights tirelessly to defend you. These defenses may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
- No probable cause for the stop
- Not enough evidence
- Poorly administered blood and/or breathalyzer tests
- Arrest without authority
- Violation of Miranda rights
How a DUI Attorney in Greenville, SC Can Help With Your DUI Charge
A DUI conviction can seriously jeopardize your career and future employment opportunities, as well as your insurance rates and reputation. A DUI charge is a severe offense that requires a well-planned criminal defense strategy.
At AnneMarie Odom Law, we are very familiar with South Carolina’s DUI legislation, and the experience of our Greenville criminal defense law firm in defending clients accused of DUI can be incredibly beneficial. To speak with our experienced criminal defense attorneys, give us a call at (864) 775-5833 as soon as possible.
At AnneMarie Odom Law, we are prepared to help you or your loved one plan a successful DUI defense strategy. Call (864) 775-5833 today to schedule a free consultation to go over your legal options, or simply fill out our online intake form to get started.
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