In South Carolina, a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest is a serious offence. A conviction could cost you in fines and additional insurance, your job, your license, and your reputation. You need an experienced law firm like Bernstein and Bernstein to help you fight this charge.
South Carolina DUI laws make it the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove that an individual was under the influence of alcohol while driving. The levels of punishment for DUI convictions in South Carolina can vary. The penalty for a first offense DUI conviction may include a $400 fine and a jail term of up to 30 days. A second DUI conviction may be punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 1 year in jail. A third DUI conviction may result in the defendant paying a $6,300 fine and spending up to 3 years in jail. Four or more drunk driving convictions may require the defendant to spend 5 years in jail.
Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08 is considered DUI in South Carolina. If you are under the age of 21, a BAC of .02 or more will constitute a DUI. You can also be charged if you are under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, or other illegal drugs, as well as prescription medications that impair your ability to drive. The fines and punishment for a DUI depend on your BAC and whether or not this is your first offense, or you have previous arrests for DUI. A first offense could cost you:
- 6 months suspended license
- $400 fine
- Minimum 48 hours of jail, with a maximum of 30 days
- 48 hours of Public Service
The consequences are progressively worse with increased BAC levels, and subsequent DUI arrests. After multiple DUI convictions, the court may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car at your expense. The court can also order you to attend an alcohol or drug intervention program. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles also publishes the names of drivers whose licenses have been suspended due to a DUI.
If you refuse a breathalyzer or other test to determine if you are impaired, or, if your BAC is more than .15, your South Carolina driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. The attorneys at Bernstein and Bernstein can help you get your license reinstated while your case is pending.
Our attorneys know how to win your SC DUI case. We will investigate your arrest record thoroughly to find any weakness in the prosecution’s case or technical errors made by law enforcement. Since DUI cases are decided by a jury in South Carolina, we will do our best to make sure they understand the facts of the case and are not swayed by circumstantial evidence or emotional tactics.
Most jobs in South Carolina require a criminal background check, so don’t risk your chances for future employment by pleading guilty to a DUI. A DUI conviction in South Carolina could also cost you thousands of dollars in insurance fees, or worse, cancellation of your insurance. Let the experienced attorneys at Bernstein and Bernstein help you fight for your rights.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in South Carolina, contact Bernstein and Bernstein immediately for help in defending your case.