Can a Police Officer Be Charged with DUI In Greenville, South Carolina?

For some reason, a lot of people are under the impression that some people are above the law. That simply isn’t the case, especially when it comes to drunk driving. The laws in South Carolina are pretty strict when it comes to DUI. Nobody suspected of drinking and driving gets off with a warning – meaning evn a police officer can be charged with DUI. If you get charged with DUI in Greenville, you’re going to need a seasoned Greenville DUI defense attorney.

South Carolina is actually more strict than some other states when it comes to suspicion of DUI. For example, most states won’t even charge you with DUI unless you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In South Carolina, you can be charged and convicted of DUI with a BAC as low as .05.

When someone’s arrested for DUI, they will be taken to the local jail. You’ll spend the night in jail if you aren’t given the chance to post bail or bond. You’ll have to attend a hearing where the charges will be read and you’ll have to enter a plea. This is why it’s a good idea to call a DUI defense lawyer right away. This way, they can attend this hearing for you and try to work something out with the prosecutor sooner rather than later. Because, in Greenville, it doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re caught drunk driving, you’re going to face the same penalties.

What are the DUI Laws in Greenville?

In order to be arrested for DUI in Greenville, you need to meet certain criteria. The cops aren’t going to arrest you simply because they think you’re drunk or high. You need to demonstrate that you’re impaired to the point where you’re unsafe to drive. In most cases, the police are going to base their assessment on your BAC. This is your blood alcohol concentration. The cops will do a breathalyzer test to measure what percentage of your blood has alcohol in it. In most states, you need a BAC of .08 or higher in order to be charged with DUI. In South Carolina, the cops can arrest you if your BAC is between .05 and .08 and you display other signs of impairment. These other signs could include any of the following:

  • Slurring your speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Odor of alcohol
  • Poor performance on the field sobriety test
  • Open containers of alcohol in the car
  • Inability to respond to questions and demands

If the police suspect that you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested. Then, it’s up to the prosecutor to prove that you were indeed drunk at the time of your arrest.

Everybody Faces the Same Penalties for DUI in South Carolina

If you’re arrested for DUI, you’re going to need a DUI defense attorney. The prosecutor is going to push for you to face the most severe penalties under the law. It’s your lawyer’s job to negotiate a fair plea deal for you. Or, they’ll argue that the charges against you should be dismissed or reduced. If they’re unable to do this – or, if you don’t have a DUI attorney – you’ll face the following penalties:

  • 1st Offense: Fine of up to $400 plus surcharges and court fees; Anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days in jail; 6 month suspension of your driver’s license
  • 2nd Offense: Fine of anywhere from $2,100 t $5,100; 5 days to 1 year in jail; 1 year suspension of your license
  • 3rd Offense: Fines of $3,800 to $6,300; 60 days to 3 years in jail; a 2 year suspension of your driver’s license
  • 4th Offense: Up to 5 years in jail and the same fines associated with a 3rd offense. If this offense occurs within 5 years of your first offense, your license can be revoked permanently.

You Should Call a Skilled DUI Lawyer in Greenville Right Away

No matter who you are or what you do for a living, facing DUI charges can be scary. Even if you’re a police officer who was charged with DUI, you should call our lawyers for DUI Defense in South Carolina. In fact, being a police officer means the prosecutor may go harder on you to prove a point. It can be daunting to attend your DUI hearing all alone. It’s much better if you have an experienced DUI attorney by your side during this process. Therefore this way, you’ll have the best chances of getting your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.