Sumter County DUI Lawyer

A driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Sumter County can have serious penalties and long-term consequences. Fortunately, motor vehicle alcohol offenses can be defended, and an experienced Sumter County DUI lawyer could help. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could fight aggressively to help you protect those rights. Call today to schedule a consultation.

DUI Laws in Sumter County

Alcohol-related driving offenses can be charged as two different types of criminal conduct. If a driver consumed alcohol and the alcohol impairs their driving ability, they can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

If the driver consumed alcohol and has a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, then they can be charged with driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC). In these cases, the prosecution must prove the blood alcohol level as opposed to proving impairment. DUI and DUAC offenses are governed by South Carolina Code §56-5-2930 and §56-5-2933. A Sumter County DUI lawyer could answer someone’s questions about DUI laws.

Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses

A DUI/DUAC can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. The elements of a DUI offense vary based on several factors:

  • Felony DUI can be charged if a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and causes great bodily injury or death to another person
  • Felony DUI/DUAC can be charged if the driver has three prior DUI/DUAC convictions
  • Misdemeanor First Offense DUI can be charged if a driver is over age 21 and has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher
  • A Misdemeanor can be charged if the driver has a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent or greater and the driver is younger than age 21

Penalties for DUI Offenses

Potential penalties for DUI offenses depend on the whether the charge is a first offense or subsequent offense. South Carolina will consider any previous conviction within the past 10 years for the purpose of using the prior conviction as an enhancement. Penalties are also increased based upon the blood alcohol level at the time of the offense. Enhanced penalties are triggered if the blood alcohol level is above 0.08 percent, 0.10 percent to 0.15 percent, and if above 0.15 percent.

Fines and potential jail time and community service are also increased based on the number of prior convictions and the blood alcohol level of the driver. Therefore, it is essential for an individual facing DUI penalties to consult a well-established defense lawyer.

License Suspensions

If a driver refuses to submit to a blood-alcohol test, the driver will usually have their driver’s license suspended for six months. If convicted, the period of suspension is determined by whether the driver has a prior DUI/DUAC conviction.

When someone is convicted of a DUI, their driver’s license will also usually be suspended for a period of six months for a first offense. Drivers can apply for a provisional license that may allow driving under certain conditions during the suspension period.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) and Ignition Interlock Restricted Licenses

South Carolina law also allows for the installation of an ignition interlock device or the installation of IID and the granting of an ignition interlock restricted license. The rules governing these devices are complicated and can be explained by a knowledgeable Sumter County DUI attorney.

Seeking the Guidance of a Sumter County DUI Attorney

The laws governing a DUI or DUAC charge are complicated but can be defended. A Sumter County DUI lawyer could examine the facts and allegations of your case and determine the best possible defenses to the charges. Call today to schedule a free consultation.