If you’re arrested and charged with DUI in South Carolina, you should know that you’ll be facing pretty stiff penalties. And, unlike a lot of other states, South Carolina has special penalties for people who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10 or higher.
Across the board, the legal limit for DUI in this country is .08. This means that, in order to be arrested and charged with a DUI per se, your BAC needs to be .08 or higher. Most states also have special rules that apply to people who have a BAC of .15 or higher. The reason for this is that they consider someone with a .15 BAC as more dangerous than someone with a mere .08 BAC.
In South Carolina, however, there is a whole other level of penalties. According to South Carolina law, the penalties for people with a BAC between .10 and .15 are higher than they are in other states. For example, if you’re charged with your first DUI offense but your BAC was a .10 instead of a .08, you’re going to face stiffer penalties. You’ll be facing a long jail sentence. You’re also going to face a longer suspension of your driver’s license.
Here, our experienced DUI attorneys will highlight the laws in Greenville when it comes to DUI and a higher BAC level. It’s also important to keep in mind – you can still be arrested and charged with DUI in South Carolina if your BAC is lower than .08.
You Be Charged with DUI in Greenville No Matter What Your BAC May Be
Most people are familiar with the laws that state you can be arrested for DUI if your BAC is .08 or higher. They think that, as long as they blow less than a .08, they won’t be arrested and charged with drunk driving. This is not the case.
In any state, you can be arrested and charged with DUI if the police believe that you are impaired to the point at which you can no longer safely operate your vehicle. This is why you can be arrested for DUI even if you haven’t had a single drink. If you’re under the influence of any other substance – a drug, for example – you can still be arrested for DUI. If the police feel that you are materially impaired and can’t operate your car safely, they can arrest you for DUI.
South Carolina Has Special Rules for People with a BAC of .10 or Higher
In South Carolina, if your BAC is between .10 and .15, you will be facing more serious penalties than people with a .08 BAC. Here is a breakdown of the penalties for DUI in South Carolina:
- 1st Offense:
- 48 hours to 30 days in jail
- You will face at least 7 days in jail for a BAC of .10 or higher
- Fines of $400 but, if you have a higher BAC, they are increased to $500
- For a BAC of .16 or higher, the fines are $1,000
- Driver’s license suspension of at least 6 months
- Add an additional month suspension for a BAC of .10-.15
- 2nd Offense:
- The license suspension for a second offense is 2 months higher for someone with a BAC of .10
- 3rd Offense:
- The driver’s license suspension is 3 months longer for someone with a BAC of .10 or higher
How Can an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Greenville Help?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Greenville, you need to call a skilled DUI defense lawyer. Since the above penalties are higher based on your BAC, your South Carolina DUI defense attorney will need to challenge the results of your breathalyzer test. If they can show that the test was fault or wasn’t administered properly, they may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
The only way to know for sure is to call and schedule your consultation with an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Greenville. They can review your case and give you an idea of what you may be up against. They can also try to negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced or dismissed.