When you’ve been charged with DUI - you need the best criminal defense lawyers on your side
Winning begins with the right team – Pruett & Cook
In your time of need, go with the team with over 50 years' experience in criminal defense
DUI can be charged when operating any type of vehicle
Drunk driving regulations are not restricted to just alcohol or drug impairment in cars. DUI is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. S.C. Code of Laws § 56-5-2930. Also, depending upon the circumstances and if the accused has any past criminal convictions can greatly affect how a DWI defendant can be charged. For example, CDL-commercial truck drivers, have much stricter DWI guidelines that must be adhered to than non-commercial motorists.
In South Carolina, there are serious penalties under state DUI and DUAC laws if you are found operating a vehicle after drinking or using drugs. South Carolina, like every other State, has the right to set the limits for blood alcohol levels, set the rules for testing, as well as, setting the penalties for each.
What is the definition of Operating/Driving a Vehicle under the Influence?
If someone has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, it is considered that they were operating under influence. If someone has a BAC that is at least 0.05% but less than 0.08%, their BAC can be used along with other evidence to conclude that they are under influence. In the case that a person's capabilities are significantly reduced while under influence of alcohol or drugs, SC regulations prohibit that person from operating any type of vehicle.
What is Operating/Driving a Vehicle with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC)?
SC regulations prohibit driving any type of vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Different than the other charges, South Carolina’s DUAC statute does not need any evidence of "impairment" for a conviction.
There are various different types of charges that go beyond automobiles, such as felony DWI, other type vehicles, and more.
A Felony DUI is when someone gets charged vs indicted operating a vehicle while using alcohol or drugs with another aggravating factor present. Such as causing death or serious injury to a motorist, passenger or pedestrian; or driving on a revoked license; or with children in the vehicle.
Commercial Driver Regulations
When someone has a commercial driver's license (CDL), they must never drink on the job. That’s why SC has much stricter laws for CDL drivers versus non-commercial motorists.
You do not need to be in an automobile to be charged with DWI. Operating other vehicles, such as Mopeds, are no exception.
Boating Under the Influence
SC laws forbid boating under the influence (BUI), which makes it a crime to operate a motorboat, jet ski, sailboat or any other type of boat or personal watercraft when consuming alcohol or drugs. Just like charges committed on dry land, the same BAC regulations oversee offenders on the water. The legal cost for BUI can include hefty fines, losing your license and even jail time if you caused injury or death.
Speak to an Attorney
If you're facing any type of DUI/DUAC charge, you need to find the best attorney near me, such as the attorneys at Pruett and Cook Law Firm. Any charge often involves extremely important issues on whether law enforcement acted properly when handling your case. The experienced attorneys at Pruett and Cook can advise you on your rights, the likely penalties of the charges being made against you, and how they can help you navigate the criminal justice system.
Even if, in the situation that the potential consequences for your particular case were not extensive, you must remember an arrested criminal record will stick with you and can have negative effects on your ability to get a job or even housing in the future.
In South Carolina, only the third offense is automatically classified as a felony. A conviction for a third offense can cost the offender fines up to $12,000 and as much as three (3) years in prison.
In South Carolina, it is a felony when a driver has consumed alcohol or drugs causes serious injury or death to another motorist, a passenger or a bystander. There are no particular blood alcohol levels or drug levels required in felony DUI cases such as in a normal DUI or DUAC case.
In cases where there is bodily injury, the driver faces between 30 days to 15 years in jail and a fine of $5,100 to $10,100. In the case of death, the driver faces between one (1) to 25 years with a fine ranging from $10,100 to $25,100.