Facts about South Carolina DUI Law
- The primary determining factors of DUI are whether:
- the defendant was driving,
- the accused was driving a motorized vehicle,
- he/she was on the road, and
- he/she was materially and appreciably impaired at the time of driving such that it impaired your judgment and ability to drive with a steady hand.
While some are more easily determined than others, the most vital question appears to be whether the defendant was actually materially and appreciably impaired.
- Under the new DUI statute, the proof rests on a mere reading of a machine to determine the culpability of a suspected DUI driver. These statutes, often referred to as per se, define DUI as driving a motor vehicle on a road or highway with a blood alcohol level of at least .08.
- The State must show that you were impaired at the time of driving. Quite often the test is taken a few hours later and, if you had consumed alcohol just before driving, the test would be higher than your actual level when driving.
- A drunk driving lawyer can challenge the Solicitor or Prosecuting Attorney’s case. If there are weaknesses in the prosecution, the attorneys at the Strom law firm may be able to have your DUI charge reduced to a non-DUI offense such as reckless driving.
- Having a BAC above the legal limit can be a separate charge, and it is considered strong evidence of intoxication.
- You may be arrested for drunk driving even if you are not tested at all.
- South Carolina DUI laws state that it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs (legal or illegal) or any combination of alcohol and drugs. However, prosecutors must prove someone’s physical or mental ability to drive a car was impaired beyond a reasonable doubt. The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are identical to the penalties for drinking and driving.
- If you are over the age of 21 and are convicted of a DUI, the consequences vary depending on whether it is a DUI first, DUI second, DUI third, or DUI fourth drunk driving offense.
- If you are convicted of DUI, you may obtain a provisional license.
- Anyone convicted of DUI is required to obtain SR-22 insurance for 3 years following a conviction which on average is an additional $300 – $500 in premiums per month.
- Not only have the fines and punishment for DUI increased, but the Legislature is currently considering instituting a “DUI Investigation Team” focused on operating checkpoints and cracking down on drunk driving.
- Many of the field sobriety tests such as the horizontal nystagmus gaze, walk and turn/walk the line, and the one legged stand were found to only be 65 – 77% effective.
- South Carolina mandates that all DUI arrests, as well as any subsequent testing, must be videotaped; a police officer must begin videotaping as soon as the blue lights are turned on.
- South Carolina has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. The consequences can be long lasting including the loss of driving privileges, the loss of financial aid, as well as future job opportunities.
- You can be arrested for boating under the influence for boating and sailing; in fact, you can be arrested for boating under the influence merely if the boat is under your control.
Arrested for driving under the influence of drugs? Contact the Strom Law Firm today for a free initial consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers to discuss: your DUI arrest, whether to plead guilty or not guilty to driving under the influence, as well as possible ways to have your driving under the influence of drugs charge reduced. We offer flexible payment plans and accept Visa and Mastercard.