If you were arrested in South Carolina for DUI, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s) to the extent that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO THOSE JUST ARRESTED FOR A DUI: DUI law in South Carolina has what is called “Pre-conviction license suspensions,” meaning that if during your Preliminary Alcohol Screening (when you blew into the Breathalyzer) you blew a .08% or higher, your license is suspended on the spot for up to 60 days. Contact a skilled South Carolina DUI attorney to protect your rights and fight for your privilege to drive.
DUI PENALTIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
If you are convicted of your first DUI charges in South Carolina, you can expect to pay fines, well into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars , and be subject to various penalties (depending on the circumstances) including significant jail time. If you are convicted of your first DUI in South Carolina, you could potentially lose your driving privileges for 6 months. On a first offense DUI for alcohol, the penalties are divided into three categories: (1) those with a blood alcohol content of .08 – .09 BAC; (2) those with a blood alcohol content from .10 to .15 BAC; and (3) those with a .16 BAC or higher. The fines, the jail time, and other penalties increase significantly along with the blood alcohol content. Subsequent DUI arrests will bring fines into the thousands of dollars, much longer mandatory jail times, and the possibility of being required to install a Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle.
SOUTH CAROLINA DUI VIDEOTAPING
South Carolina is the only state in the country that makes it mandatory to videotape the entire DUI stop! This includes the Field Sobriety Tests, Breath tests, reading of Miranda rights, and the arrest itself. South Carolina law stipulates that the videotape must begin when the officer activates his car’s emergency lights, and shall not end until you are handcuffed in the police car. The videotape MUST include the officer reading you your Miranda rights before he asked you to do field sobriety tests. The officer’s failure to read your rights on videotape can lead to a successful evidence suppression motion by your attorney. And because the videotape is such a crucial part of your DUI arrest, and it can potentially lead to the charges being dropped – hire an experienced South Carolina DUI attorney that will question the officer’s actions in the video.
SOUTH CAROLINA DUI LAWYER
South Carolina DUI attorneys defend DUI offenses and drunk driving cases in South Carolina. A good DUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with your case and offer DUI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI charges and the administrative case with the South Carolina DMV. Being arrested for a DUI is a very serious issue and one that you should not leave in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. Research local attorneys like you would research a doctor for a specific ailment.