It is illegal in the State of South Carolina to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The limit is lower for commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21. The .08 limit is the standard measurement of the “impaired” driver throughout the United States. In addition to alcohol, it is also illegal to drive in South Carolina under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicating substances. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI in South Carolina, you’ll want as much information as possible about the crime and its consequences, and you may need an experienced DUI attorney. What does the prosecutor have to prove in order to get a conviction? What’s the sentence range and what factors might affect a judge’s decision to impose a lower or higher sentence? Most importantly, are there any legally-recognized defenses to this charge? The following are answers to a few Florence South Carolina DUI FAQs and should be used for informational purposes only and are subject to change.
Under 21: .02% BAC | 21 or Older .08% BAC | Commercial .04% BAC
There isn’t one correct answer to this question, there are calculators and tables that can serve as a reference; however, these devices cannot predict with certainty what your exact BAC level will be at a given time. There are many factors that contribute to an individual’s BAC score, including weight, sex, body-fat percentage and the time interval between drinks. Studies have shown that a person’s BAC could go up between .01 and.05 percent for each drink taken. The fact is it takes very little alcohol to become legally drunk and each drink taken is a another step closer to becoming an “impaired” driver. The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of South Carolina has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in South Carolina, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.
South Carolina’s implied consent law means that any person who drives a motor vehicle on the roadways of the state is considered to have given their consent to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine if they are detained by law enforcement who believes the driver was driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both. If you refuse to submit to such a test, your driver’s license will be immediately suspended for at least 90 days. In addition you can still be charged and convicted of a DUI without a chemical test if the arresting officer convinces the court that you were intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle.
No, a plea bargain for a conviction of “wet reckless” (reckless driving involving alcohol) is barred by statute in South Carolina.
FOURTH OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE
The Department of Motor Vehicles must require the person, if he or she is a subsequent offender and a resident of this State, to have installed on any motor vehicle the person drives, an ignition interlock device designed to prevent driving of the motor vehicle if the person has consumed alcoholic beverages. The length of time that an interlock device is required to be affixed to a motor vehicle following the completion of a period of license suspension imposed on the offender is two years for a second offense, three years for a third offense, and the remainder of the offender’s life for a fourth or subsequent offense.
The cost of the interlock device must be borne by the offender. This fee is not to exceed $360 per year for each year the person is required to drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device. The interlock device must be inspected every 60 days to verify that the device is affixed to the motor vehicle and properly operating. This report will indicate the offender’s alcohol content at each attempt to start the vehicle during each 60-day period. If your alcohol level is too high, the vehicle will not start.
The offender shall be subject to an Interlock Device Point System managed by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. An offender receiving a total of two points will have their length of time that the interlock device is required extended by two months. An offender receiving a total of three points will have their length of time that the interlock device is required extended by four months and must submit to a substance abuse assessment and successfully complete the plan of education and treatment, or both, as recommended by the certified substance abuse program. If you do not complete the recommended plan, or do not make progress toward completing the plan, the Department of Motor Vehicles must suspend your driver’s license until the plan is completed or progress is being made toward completing the plan. An offender receiving a total of four points shall have their license suspended for a period of one year and submit to a substance abuse assessment and successfully complete the plan of education and treatment, or both, as recommended by the certified substance abuse program. Completion of the plan is mandatory as a condition of reinstatement of the person’s driving privileges. The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services is responsible for notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles of an individual’s completion and compliance with education and treatment programs.
For a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact us or call our office at (843) 667.0400.