The holidays are upon us. We have back to back holidays starting with Halloween and ending with the celebration of the new year. Enjoy the season, eat, drink and be merry, but do not drink and drive. South Carolina has stiff penalties for drivers caught driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Be safe rather than sorry. Designate a driver up front when attending a holiday party, or hire a cab. You will be glad that you did.
But if by chance you find yourself having a problem with a DUI or DWI, make sure you consult a good attorney who will guide you through the legal process.
South Carolina DUI/DWI Penalties and Enforcement
Drinking and driving is considered a very serious offense in South Carolina. If caught driving under the influence, or while intoxicated, you will face heavy fines and possibly jail time, driver’s license suspensions, ignition interlock device requirements, alcohol and drug safety programs, and reinstatement fees.
DUI/DWI fines and penalties in South Carolina vary according to the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver when arrested. It is against the law to drive with a BAC above .08 (the BAC is lower for anyone driving a commercial vehicle). This BAC is typically standard in most states. There are BAC calculators that will help you determine how much alcohol you would have to consume to be over the limit; however, they are not always accurate, and it is best to abstain from drinking if you plan on driving.
If you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will typically be booked in jail by the arresting officer, and then either held in jail if you cannot make bail, or released on bail to await trial. At trial, if found guilty, the court may sentence you to criminal and/or administrative penalties. Sentencing guidelines depend on whether you have been tried for a first, second or third offence. In South Carolina, prior DUI convictions will stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for up to 10 years.
If stopped by a police officer and asked to submit to a chemical test to determine your BAC, be aware that South Carolina has an implied consent law. This means that with the issuance of your driver’s license, it is implied that you consent to all the laws of the state regarding such offenses as DUI/DWI. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. To learn more about South Carolina’s implied consent law, and other laws pertaining to DUI/DWI, contact attorney William G. Mayer for more information.
Call Your Attorney
Have you been arrested for DUI in South Carolina? If so, don’t hesitate to contact William G. Mayer at 864-984-9202. Mr. Mayer is an experienced criminal law attorney who is prepared to assist you today.