A DUI and DWI in South Carolina is a serious offense. DUI information through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) outlines the penalties for driving under the influence and how to recover from a DUI or dispute the charge in court. Drunk driving information pertaining to the specific charge you have received will also be on your traffic ticket. DUI laws are in place to promote safe driving practices and reduce accidents. Since all drivers must abide by DUI and DWI regulations, it is important for you to familiarize yourself with them. Additionally, you can get DUI legal counsel here to assist with such charges. To avoid DUI consequences in South Carolina and to learn more about drunk driving violations, you may review the following sections.
What does getting charged with DUI in South Carolina mean?
If you are charged with a DUI in SC, then that means you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher if you are of legal drinking age (i.e., 21 years old or older). If you are younger than 21 years old and receive a DUI or DWI, then your BAC must have exceeded 0.02 percent. However, there are different qualifications for commercial vehicle drivers. According to DUI laws, local law enforcement officers have the right to perform BAC tests on any driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs.
To prevent accidents and impose constructive DUI penalties, police officers have implemented DUI checkpoints, ignition locks, media campaigns and alcohol intervention programs to try to reduce the frequency and destruction of DUIs. Approximately one in three traffic deaths involve drunk driving. Other drunk driving information reveals that thousands of South Carolina residents are killed annually in drug-related crashes. Therefore, you need to understand what happens if you get a DUI in South Carolina and how dangerous such actions can be to make safer driving choices.
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Consequences of Getting a DUI in South Carolina
A DUI or DWI results in various consequences. For instance, DUI laws in SC state that your license may be suspended, you may receive a jail sentence and you may be required to pay fines, depending on the severity of your offense and how many DUIs with which you have been previously charged. The following list includes common DUI penalties for first-time offenders (penalties for class B misdemeanors):
- Maximum of one month in jail
- Fines of up to $400
- License suspension for up to six months
- Added points to your driver’s license
If you are charged with a DUI a second time, then you may face fines of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to one year and a license suspension or revocation for at least two years. Third offenses that occur within five years of the first offense result in license suspensions for four years and vehicle confiscation. Subsequent DUI charges will also result in more license points. If you reach 12 or more points, then your license will be suspended, which may extend your driver license suspension period.
Although each DUI and DWI offense is handled separately, the consequences of driving under the influence are severe and can damage your driving record. A DUI lawyer may help you negotiate lower penalties if you choose to contest charges. Find a DUI lawyer here who can work with you to lessen your consequences.
The Importance of Having a Good DUI Attorney in South Carolina
A DWI lawyer is beneficial when attempting to recover from a DUI charge in SC. Since a DWI attorney is well-versed in legal practices and DUI laws, he or she can help you organize a convincing case. Additionally, DUI lawyers have been proven to increase your chances of winning your case. Even if your offense is irrefutable, lawyers understand how to suggest other options to replace harmful penalties. For instance, your DUI attorney could recommend that you take rehabilitation classes rather than spend extra days in jail. A good attorney guides you through every step of the process and alleviates the stress involved in legal proceedings. Find a good DUI lawyer here to represent you for your charge.
What to Expect If You Are Charged With a DUI in South Carolina
Once you have been charged with a DUI, you receive a traffic ticket explaining your offense. The ticket instructs you to pay all fines and accept DUI penalties or to request a hearing to discuss the incident. If you choose to fight your DUI or DWI, then you are encouraged to hire a lawyer to represent you in court. You may find a DUI lawyer here to help you construct your case.