South Carolina DUI Laws


South Carolina’s DUI laws just like any other state prohibit the use of driving a vehicle while intoxicated.  The penalties for breaking South Carolina’s DUI laws can be severe depending on the circumstances. Same is the severity of punishment in case of defying South Dakota DWI laws also. There are a few things to know about these laws before you decide to get behind the wheel of a car drunk.

The first thing a prosecutor has to prove is that you mental and physical abilities have been impaired.  They can proceed from there if they find the driver incompetent.  There are more severe punishments for anyone that is over the state limit of .08 BAC (blood alcohol content).   Any repeat offense will, also, be dealt with less leniently.  A South Carolina repeat offender is anyone that has gotten more than one DUI in less than 10 years. Once there has been a fourth offense it is considered a felony.

According to South Carolina DUI laws there are already pre-conviction laws for anyone over .08 percent. You can be rest assured this is quite normal, as even South Dakota DWI laws maintain the same BAC limit of 0.08%! All first offenders will have their license suspended for 30 days.  A second offense DUI will result in a 60 day suspension of license.  In some cases a restricted license may be available.

Under South Carolina DUI (unlike South Dakota DWI laws) anyone driving a vehicle has already given their consent to be tested for alcohol consumption, either by a breathalyzer test or by urine sample.  If pulled over and charged with being intoxicated, the arresting officer is to warn the person of their right to decline to take the test, however.  If the person chooses to take the test, the arresting officer also is to provide the driver with “affirmative assistance”.  This means helping the driver in whichever test they choose to take.

South Carolina is the only to state to have mandatory video of the arresting officer during the DUI arrest and test.  It must start immediately after the blue lighting and conclude after the arrest of the person.  This is to show that the driver’s full rights were met during the arrest.

Penalties for first time South Carolina DUI offenders are a $400 fine, 2 to 30 days in jail or community service.  In order to get a new license after conviction, get a SR-22 insurance for up to 3 years.  Second times offenders can be fined the minimum of $2,000 to $5,000, serve 5 days to 1 year in jail, and a possible 30 days of community service.  Third time offenders have to pay a fine of at least $3,600 and up to $6,800 and will be imprisoned for at least 30 days and up to 5 years.  Third time offenders are, also, considered felons by this point.

In 2007 in South Carolina alone, 1,066 people died in some way involving a drunk driver.  Involved in those fatalities, 43.4% had a BAC over .08%.

Any person arrested for a South Carolina DUI has a right to refuse a breathalyzer; however that will usually result in 90 days to a 1 year license suspension.  Court costs for the accused are usually costly and are not included with fines.  It is best to consult a lawyer to find out what rights you have and what you could be facing.  Some lawyers that are good in this field are Law Offices of Jim Brown in Beaufort County.  In Charleston County call Bolus and Bolus.  In Greenville County it is good to try Donna and Hurley Law Firm.  Hudson Law Offices is located in Horry County and specializes in DUIs.  Last in Richland County, Jonathon Harvey is a good choice.

South Carolina DUI laws are very serious and not to be taken lightly.  Anyone who does not know the risks of what could happen to them even if they are not injured need to look them up; it is best to never get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk and save you a lot of hassle. South Carolina DUI laws are among the hardest ones, such as South Dakota DWI laws. The chances of getting into a tiresome court battle for your license and freedom is not easy.

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