Summerville DUI Lawyer

Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be an intimidating and stressful experience. You may be unaware of your rights and unclear where to turn for help. A Summerville DUI lawyer may be able to provide you with the legal counsel and help you build a defense against the charges.

Getting the legal advice that you need may make it easier to make productive and well-informed decisions about your case. With the assistance of a tenacious criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to choose the course of action that is most likely to be successful in your case.

DUI Charges and Penalties in Summerville

South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930 defines the criminal offenses of driving under the influence or DUI. This crime occurs when people drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs that materially and appreciably impairs their ability to drive. In other words, the alcohol or drug consumption of the driver must have a substantial impact on the ability of the driver to safely and lawfully operate a motor vehicle.

Like most states, the South Carolina state legislature has cracked down on DUI by passing laws that harshly punish individuals convicted of this offense. Even a first DUI offense can have harsh results, in that individuals could serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail up to a maximum of 30 days or be responsible for paying a $400 fine.  If convicted, suspension of their driver’s license will also occur.

A DUI attorney in Summerville knows that persons facing second and subsequent DUI convictions will face more severe penalties. A second offense may result in a jail sentence ranging from a minimum five days to one year, plus a fine ranging from $2,100 to $5,100. A license suspension is likely to be lengthier for a second or subsequent DUI conviction than for a first-time DUI conviction.

DUAC Charges and Penalties for Convictions

A DUI charge can occur regardless of the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of drivers at the time of the offenses, so long as alcohol or drugs significantly impairs their ability to drive. However, south Carolina drivers can face another type of DUI, which is driving with an unlawful blood alcohol concentration or DUAC. Under S.C. Code § 56-5-2933, if drivers have a BAC that measures .08 percent or more at the time of the incident, they automatically qualify for DUAC charges.

DUAC charges may occur regardless of whether the consumption of alcohol substantially impairs the driving abilities of the individuals. Therefore, drivers who do not appear to be impaired in any way still could face DUAC charges under this code section.

The penalties for a DUAC conviction mirror those for a DUI conviction. As individuals accrue more convictions, they can face increasingly harsher punishments. As a DUI lawyer in Summerville may advise, persons convicted of DUAC or DUI also may face license suspension, mandatory completion of an alcohol and drug education course, and a required ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

Enhancements to DUI and DUAC Charges

Under some circumstances, the penalties may increase regardless of the number of previous DUI or DUAC convictions. For example, if the BACs of drivers measure more than .10 percent or more than .16 percent at the time of their arrests, they can face higher fines and lengthier minimum jail sentences. If the individuals were involved in an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drug, then they could face additional charges or harsher penalties.

Likewise, if the police stop individuals for a traffic violation and suspect that they have been consuming alcohol, they routinely will ask the drivers to take a breath or blood test to measure their BACs. If drivers refuse the request for testing, then they can face an automatic six-month license suspension, which may be in addition to a suspension that they receive for a DUI or DUAC conviction.

Seek Help from a Summerville DUI Attorney Today

Although DUI and DUAC are common charges, they still can have significant repercussions for your life, including incarceration. You also can face hefty fines and other expenses, such as those related to license reinstatement, ignition interlock devices, and alcohol and drug education courses. A Summerville DUI lawyer can be vital in your ability to minimize or avoid some of these unwanted consequences.

By enlisting the help of legal counsel, you may be able to fight back against your charges. Resolving the charges against you in a favorable manner can be critical to safeguarding your future.