Chapin DUI Lawyer

DUI laws in Chapin are complex and can seem to grow more complicated by the day. Drivers stopped on suspicion of drunk driving will be asked to perform field sobriety tests and may be charged with one of two different DUI offenses and could face serious additional consequences for refusing a breathalyzer (DataMaster DMT aka breath test).

Many drivers find it helpful to contact a Chapin DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer familiar with DUI cases can explain the potential ramifications of your situation and how to protect your rights so that you can work toward a positive outcome.

Refusing Tests

Drivers stopped by police who suspect they may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may refuse to take a chemical test to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, failure to take the breath test when requested results in some immediate unpleasant consequences.

Difficulties arise when refusing tests because drivers on the roads in Chapin are considered by state law to have consented to take such tests. This is known as “implied consent.” Under S.C. Code §56-5-2950, anyone “who drives a motor vehicle in this State is considered to have given consent to chemical tests of the person’s breath, blood, or urine for the purposes of determining the presence of alcohol, drugs, or the combination of alcohol and drugs.”

If a driver refuses to provide samples or take tests, the law requires suspension of the driver’s license for six months and you will have to enroll in the ADSAP program. Moreover, the refusal to take the test may be used as evidence against the driver in court. However, the suspension may be shortened if the driver enrolls in the Ignition Interlock Device Program, and a Chapin DUI lawyer may be able to argue for a reduction in the length of a suspension for other causes as well.


State lawmakers enacted two statutes to penalize drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the influence or DUI is prohibited by S.C. Code §56-5-2930. This statute specifically prohibits driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the degree that the substance “materially and appreciably” impairs the driver’s ability to operate the motor vehicle. An experienced Chapin DUI lawyer may be able to successfully contest evidence regarding a showing of impairment.

Driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration, also known as DUAC, is a separate offense defined in S.C. Code §56-5-2933. No need to show impairment is necessary for a violation of this statute. Instead, a driver may be found guilty if driving with an “unlawful alcohol concentration.”

The law specifies that an unlawful alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher. However, the law also increases the penalties in situations where BAC is .10 or higher.

Penalties for DUI and DUAC

Penalties for driving under the influence and driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration are similar. The severity of the penalties increases for subsequent offenses or in situations where a BAC is high. Those convicted may be sentenced to:

  • First offense BAC between .08-.09 percent – from two and 30 days in jail (or public service) plus a fine of $400
  • First offense with BAC between .10-.15 percent – from three to 30 days in jail (or public service) plus a fine of $500
  • First offense with BAC .16 percent or higher – from 30-90 days in jail (or public service) plus a fine of $1,000
  • Second offense – from five days to three years in jail plus a fine between $2,100 and $6,500
  • Third offense – from 60 days to five years in jail plus a fine between $3,800 and $10,000
  • Fourth or subsequent offense – from one to seven years in jail

A skilled defense lawyer in Chapin could present persuasive arguments for imposition of the lowest applicable penalty.

Talk to a Knowledgeable Chapin DUI Attorney Today

In many DUI situations, it may be possible to mount a successful challenge against the sufficiency of the evidence presented against the driver. Other cases often provide grounds for a challenge based on procedural and constitutional violations.

An experienced Chapin DUI lawyer could analyze the circumstances of your case to devise the optimum defensive strategy. To learn your options and how to protect your driving privileges, call for a free consultation.