A DUI or Driving Under Influence is an offense where a person can be booked for driving or operating a vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol or recreational or prescribed drugs. A DUI is usually an offense when the influence of intoxicating substances is to the degree where the driver becomes incapable of controlling the vehicle safely. There are typically different DUI crime levels that a person can be booked under, based on specific criteria.
Let us take a look at the four levels of DUI crimes and what they entail in the city of Greenville, South Carolina.
Levels Of DUI Crimes In Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville classifies DUI crimes under the following statutory crimes:
- South Carolina Code, §56-5-2930 – Driving under the influence causing impairment.
- South Carolina Code, §56-5-2933 – Driving under the influence with unlawful blood alcohol concentration.
- South Carolina Code, §56-5-2945(A) – Felony driving under the influence
- South Carolina Code, §56-5-29 – Driving under the influence with Child Endangerment.
Let us look at each of these DUI crime levels in more detail by exploring the various criteria that come under each of these DUI crime levels.
Driving Under The Influence Causing Impairment
This DUI crime statute focuses on three essential things:
- Firstly, the driver must have been driving a motor vehicle which essentially means that the vehicle must be in motion.
- Secondly, the driver must have been driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Thirdly, the influence of the drugs and/or alcohol has to be to the degree where it has caused impairment to the driver’s faculties both “materially” and “appreciably.”
Under a DUI causing impairment, it is essential to note that the Supreme Court has upheld the DUI laws for private property. This means that you can be booked under a DUI causing impairment regardless of whether you drive on public highways or private roads and private property.
Driving Under The Influence With Unlawful Blood Alcohol Concentration
This DUI statute does not focus on the impairment of the driver’s faculties. Instead, it focuses on blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which must be beyond a specific limit for it to be called “unlawful.”
If a driver is suspected to be driving (i.e., the vehicle is in motion and under his control) under the influence of alcohol, then he may be convicted after checking his blood alcohol concentration. The BAC is generally tested through breath, blood, and urine samples of the driver.
Felony Driving Under The Influence
This is one of the DUI crime levels that carries the most serious repercussions. A Felony DUI involves a crash or a wreck due to driving under the influence, resulting in either injury or death. If found convicted of a Felony DUI, then jail sentences are usually much longer than what one would be looking at if there were to be convicted for the other DUI levels.
Who may be convicted of a Felony DUI? The statutory code which lays down the Felony DUI states that those persons may be convicted of a Felony DUI who drove under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and performed any unlawful acts while driving or was neglectful of the duties that are imposed by law. Due to these acts, another person or people were caused severe bodily injury or even death.
Driving Under The Influence With Child Endangerment
This is the last and final DUI crime level in Greenville, South Carolina. In this statute, a driver may be convicted of a DUI with child endangerment if he/she is an adult (i.e., above 18 years of age). He/she violates any of the above three DUI statutes, while the vehicle that is being driven by him/her contains one or more children who are below the age of 16.
Should I Contact A Lawyer If I Have Been Charged With Any Of The Above?
A criminal conviction is bound to have grave consequences for every aspect of your life. It may affect your ability to find employment as employers tend to perform criminal background checks, and it may even cause you to lose certain privileges such as driving. Further, if you become convicted of a Felony DUI, then you might be looking at a very long jail sentence.
This is why you should consult with an expert and experienced Greenville DUI defense attorney who will be able to counsel you on the best ways to proceed if you have been charged with any of the above DUI crime levels.