Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in South Carolina is a serious charge.
So you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in South Carolina, now what? Driving Under the Influence is a serious charge with varying penalties and potentially long term consequences. Because of an increased emphasis on reducing DUI related accidents and deaths in South Carolina, law enforcement and prosecutors have taken a hard stance on this crime. But just because you have been charged with DUI, doesn’t mean you are guilty. Contact Pisarik Law Firm today to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer about your DUI defense.
DUI cases can be highly technical. There are many legal requirements that an officer must adhere to in each DUI stop and/or arrest. It takes an experienced DUI lawyer to know all of the subtleties to look for and how to best use them to your advantage. Having handled hundreds of DUI cases as a former DUI prosecutor and DUI lawyer, Craig Pisarik has extensive experience in the area of DUI. Mr. Pisarik is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, and is certified in DWI Detection and Field Sobriety Testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Contact Pisarik Law Firm today for a free consultation. 803-415-2733.
Elements of DUI First Offense:
If you have been charged with a DUI First Offense, the State must prove the following elements according to SC Code of Laws 56-5-2930:
- Driving a vehicle
- Within the State of South Carolina
- While under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or combination of alcohol and drugs
- To the extent that a person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired
Often times, the State introduces the results of a breath test (also known as a breathalyzer or Datamaster test) or chemical test to prove that a person was under the influence of alcohol. In South Carolina, if a person registers a .08 or more during their breath test it may be inferred that the person was under the influence of alcohol. However, blowing over a .08 does not mean that you are automatically guilty of a DUI. Further, having a blood alcohol level over a .08 does not always mean a person’s faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. In addition to alcohol, a person can be charged and prosecuted for DUI if they have drugs in their system. (See our blog post on DUI related to alcohol versus DUI related to drugs for a full discussion)
Penalties for DUI First Offense:
The penalties for a Driving Under the Influence conviction are severe. A person convicted of a first offense DUI faces the following potential penalties:
- Fines: A conviction can lead to fines from $997.00 to over $2,000.00
- Driver’s License Suspension: a six (6) month driver’s license suspension
- Counseling: Required participation in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program Counseling classes (ADSAP).
- Insurance: Requirement of SR-22 Insurance
- License Fees: Reinstatement Fees
In addition to these penalties, a conviction for Driving Under the Influence will stay on a person’s record for the rest of their life, potentially affecting future job prospects, career advancement, earning potential, and quality of life. A person convicted of a DUI second offense, DUI third offense, or felony DUI can face increased penalties and jail time.
Refusal to submit to breath test:
A refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or drug test under South Carolina’s Implied Consent to testing for alcohol statute 56-5-2950, may result in an additional six (6) month driver’s license suspension and the refusal may be used against a person during their DUI case. However, that suspension can be challenged through a South Carolina Office of Motor Vehicle administrative hearing. A driver’s license suspension for a refusal to submit to an implied consent test can only be challenged within a limited time frame, however, so don’t wait, call an experienced DUI attorney at Pisarik Law Firm today to protect your rights.
Drivers license suspensions:
Just because you face a driver’s license suspension from a DUI charge, doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. You may be eligible for a Temporary Alcohol License, a Route Restricted Driver’s License, or a Provisional License. Call Pisarik Law Firm today to discuss your license options.
Contact a DUI lawyer at Pisarik Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your DUI defense.
When facing the serious consequences of a DUI charge, you need a DUI lawyer to fight for you. Contact a former DUI prosecutor and an experienced DUI attorney at Pisarik Law Firm today for a free consultation. 803-415-2733