3 Factors That Can Lead To A Felony DUI In South Carolina

You’ve probably heard people say they “had a DUI,” which usually applies to a misdemeanor record of driving while intoxicated in an incident that did not result in serious bodily harm or death. The majority of people do not know the risk of being convicted for DUI.

Driving under influence (DUI) is a crime in several states, including South Carolina. When the following proof exists, a DUI becomes a felony DUI in South Carolina:

  • Causing serious bodily injury
  • Causing death to another person
  • The driver committed one or more traffic violations, and
  • The driver’s actions were the direct cause of another’s permanent bodily harm or death

To sum up, a person will be charged with felony DUI in South Carolina if an officer determines that the person was driving a motor vehicle in South Carolina while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, violating a traffic code, and his driving and negligence is the principal cause of severe bodily harm or death to another person.

DUI Regulations According to the State of South Carolina

The BAC or the Blood Alcohol Content cap in South Carolina is 0.08 % for drivers above the age of 21, and 0.02 % for those under the age of 21. The cap for commercial drivers is 0.04 %.

In South Carolina, having a driver’s license is treated as implied permission to be checked if you are arrested by the police. An official can use this rule, known as implied consent, to examine you if they believe you of drunken driving.

If your BAC is over the legal amount, you will receive points on your record, and your license will be terminated or withheld if you are convicted of a felony DUI in South Carolina.

Penalties for Felony DUI in South Carolina

One of the essential factors the law addresses when enacting criminal penalties is the severity of the offense. The extent of injuries to a victim can influence the seriousness of the crime. In contrast to DUI, if a person is guilty of causing substantial bodily harm or death to a victim, the penalty for felony DUI is increased.

If a person has pleaded guilty or been charged and convicted of felony DUI, the judge must determine the required penalty. Whether the accident causes death or great bodily harm, the court cannot rule for probation nor can it suspend the case. After being incarcerated, the person’s license is revoked, but he or she may be eligible for an “ignition interlock limited license” after being released from jail.

For felony DUI in South Carolina with great bodily harm, they must have an ignition interlock system on their vehicle for three years, and for felony DUI with death, they must keep it for five years.

Death or Bodily Injury

According to South Carolina law, an intoxicated driver who causes serious bodily harm or the death of another person has committed a crime. The statute describes the great bodily injury as an injury that results in one or more of the following:

  • Disfigurement for life
  • An organ or a body part is lost or impaired.
  • An increased chance of dying

This crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail and a maximum sentence of 15 years. A fine of $5,100 to $10,100 may also be imposed.

A Minor Passenger

If a driver is criminally drunk and has a passenger under the age of 16, he or she can face child endangerment charges in addition to the DUI. If the kid is seriously wounded or killed, the conviction will then become a criminal.

According to the law, the offense carries a penalty of up to half the time spent in prison on a DUI charge, as well as a fine of up to half the actual fine for a DUI charge.

Multiple Counts

When a driver charged with Felony DUI causes substantial bodily harm or death to more than one victim, the driver will be charged with a “count” of Felony DUI for each person injured or killed. The statute states that if a driver is convicted, the court must charge the driver on one of the “counts” of prosecution.

A judge will rule that the sentences for several counts of conviction may run simultaneously or consecutively while imposing penalties. Concurrently implies that both sentences are delivered simultaneously or are deemed to be delivered at the same time. Consecutively implies that each count’s sentences must be served in order.

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