Richland County DUI Lawyer

Driving under the influence (DUI) in South Carolina is against the law and can result in harsh penalties – including losing your driver’s license and possibly serving time in jail or prison.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, contact a Richland County DUI lawyer who can look at the charges against you and determine what legal courses of action might apply to your situation. Contact an experienced defense attorney to begin your defense.

DUI Laws in South Carolina

It is illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs which cause impairment to the extent that a person’s faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. South Carolina has several laws pertaining to DUI, specifically regarding someone’s blood alcohol content.

Impairment is inferred when a person’s BAC is 0.08% or higher in South Carolina. Driving with Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC) law makes it illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a BAC is 0.08% or higher in South Carolina for anyone over 21, 0.02% or higher for anyone 21 or younger under the State’s zero-tolerance policy, and 0.04% or higher for anyone holding a CDL (commercial driver’s license).

Driving with Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC) charges are similar to DUI; however, a person can be found guilty of a DUAC simply by having a BAC level of .08 or higher – regardless of whether their mental and physical faculties were impaired to drive. A lawyer in Richland County could help a person understand DUI laws.

Possible Penalties for a DUI Conviction

Penalties for drinking and driving can be harsh and depend on someone’s BAC levels, age, previous convictions, and the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest:

  • First offenses: A DUI first offense will result in a six-month driver’s license suspension (three months for those under 21), a $400 fine or two to 30 days prison time or community service
  • Second offenses: A DUI second offense will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension, possible fines of over $5,000, and or five days to one year in prison
  • Third offenses: A third offense will result in a two to four year driver’s license suspension, possible fines of over $6,000,  and/or 60 days to three years in prison

According to SC Code Sec. 56-5-2950, anyone who drives is presumed to have given consent to a blood, breath, or urine test in order to determine their BAC when they are arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Anyone who refuses will lose their license for six months (three months for those under 21) – and risks having the refusal used against them in court at a later date.  A person has 30 days to challenge the license suspension by filing for a contested case hearing at the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings in the Administrative Law Court. A skilled DUI lawyer can help individuals in Richland County file for a contested hearing case in order to challenge their suspension.

License Reinstatement

Getting a driver’s license reinstated may include:

  • Passing a South Carolina knowledge test and driving skills test
  • Completing an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)
  • Providing an SR-22 for proof of insurance

An experienced lawyer could often discredit field sobriety testing methods, a plea bargain to reduce sentences, provide evidence that BAC testing machines were faulty, and more.

Working With a Richland County DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a Richland County DUI lawyer who will fight for your rights. It is crucial for everyone to evaluate all their legal options before accepting a plea. This is where an attorney can help the most and advocate for your rights. Do not let a DUI affect your future without contacting an experienced DUI attorney first.