Can You Be Charged with DUI in Clemson Even if Your BAC is Less Than .08?

In just about every state, in order to be charged with DUI, you need to have a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08. However, in South Carolina, this isn’t the case. Some people think that, as long as you blow less than this .08 threshold, you’re safe. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Generally speaking, the police can arrest you for suspicion of DUI no matter what your BAC is. The law states that anyone who is impaired to the point where they cannot operate a car safely can be arrested and charged with DUI. This means that, technically speaking, your BAC doesn’t really matter. If you come across as under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can be arrested for DUI in Clemson, SC.

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Just because your BAC is .07, that doesn’t mean you’re any less of a threat than you’d be with a BAC of .08. And, for people who are under the influence of drugs, the BAC is irrelevant. If you’re under the influence of heroin or methamphetamine, your BAC could well be zero. That doesn’t mean you’re not impaired. Nor does it mean you don’t pose a threat to the safety of yourself or other motorists. Here, we’ll talk about how the law in South Carolina impacts people who are impaired, regardless of what their BAC is. We’ll also discuss the penalties for DUI in Clemson, South Carolina.

If you’ve been charged with DUI, call an attorney in Clemson, SC that handles DUI charges right away.

What Does the Law Say About a BAC Under .08?

South Carolina DUI laws speak directly to having a BAC of less than .08. Yes, if you have a BAC higher than .08, it can be legally inferred that you’re driving under the influence. However, if your BAC is anywhere from .05 to .08, the police can still charge you with drunk driving. They can combine your BAC with the other circumstances surrounding your traffic stop and determine if they think you’re drunk or high. Some of the things they’ll take into account include the following:

  • Are you slurring your words?
  • How is your coordination in the field sobriety test?
  • How was your overall performance in the field sobriety test?
  • Do they find open containers in your vehicle?
  • Are your eyes bloodshot?
  • Are you showing any other signs of inebriation, i.e. nervous, sweating, etc.

The cops are going to look at the totality of the circumstances. If they truly think you are unable to operate a vehicle safely, you will be arrested for DUI. And, this is how the law is written. Once you’re charged with DUI, you’ll face severe penalties.

What are the Penalties for DUI in Clemson, South Carolina?

If you’re convicted of DUI in Clemson, you will face serious penalties. The punishment for a DUI in South Carolina is as follows:

  • 1st Offense: Even if you’re charged with your first DUI offense, you’ll still be facing jail time, fines and a license suspension. The penalties for a first DUI are:
    • 48 hours to 30 days in jail
    • $400 fine plus surcharges
    • 6-month suspension of driver’s license
  • 2nd Offense: If you receive a 2nd offense within 10 years, you’re going to face even worse consequences. The penalties for a 2nd offense include:
    • 5 days to 1 year in jail
    • Fines anywhere from $2,100 to $5,100
    • A suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year
  • 3rd Offense: If you receive a third charge for DUI, you probably already know how serious the consequences are. At this point, the State is concerned that you pose a serious danger to the public. The penalties for a third DUI are:
    • Fines from $3,800 to $6,300
    • 60 days to 3 years in prison
    • A 2 year suspension of your license

Call a Skilled DUI Defense Attorney in Clemson Today

If you’ve been charged with DUI, you’ll be facing some serious consequences. It’s a really good idea to call and talk to a law office in Clemson that handles DUIs right away. They can help negotiate a fair plea deal with the prosecutor. They can also work hard to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Your odds of having your case dismissed are much higher if you have a skilled DUI lawyer in your corner.

Call today and schedule your initial consultation with one of our skilled DUI attorneys. It is better to have someone by your side throughout the DUI court process. While it may not be inexpensive to have a lawyer handle your case, in the long run, it’s worth every penny. Between the fines and the risk to your livelihood, a DUI can be much more expensive than you may think.

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