Driving under the influence of any impairing substance is considered a serious pubic safety issue in South Carolina. As such, law enforcement officers are constantly on the lookout for drivers who may show signs of this behavior. Those accused of impaired and/or drunk driving may face serious penalties under state laws.
The consequences for driving under the influence or while impaired vary based on the severity of the offense and the number of offenses on a person's record. These consequences may include criminal penalties, administrative penalties or both. Some of the penalties often seen with DUI or DWI are:
- Jail Time
- License Suspension
- Ignition Interlock Device
- Court Ordered Safety Programs/ Community Service
- License Reinstatement Fees
For a drunk driving offense, if over the age of 21, the driver's blood-alcohol level must be higher than .08 percent; whereas, for drivers under 21 years of age, the percentage drops to .02. License suspension for underage drivers is considered mandatory, and the length of suspension will be determined by the number of DUIs on a person's record. For a first time offense, this will mean a suspension of driving privileges for three months; however, it could last up to six months if the driver refuses a blood-alcohol test.
The consequences for impaired and/or drunk driving, whether criminal, administrative or both, can have a significant impact on a person's life. Those who are faced with this situation could likely benefit from the experience and guidance of a South Carolina criminal defense attorney. The insight offered can help the accused fight their case in court and help them make informed decisions regarding the best course of legal action to pursue as they seek to attain the best possible outcome.
Source: dmv.org, "South Carolina DUI & DWI Laws & Enforcement", , Oct. 6, 2014