What’s a first defense DUI in South Carolina? Although a very intuitive skill, driving vehicles on roads requires great responsibility. It is one of the essential things drivers need, apart from a knowledge of controls, road signs, and strict adherence to rules. However, sometimes people tend to be very difficult to reason with and end up causing a lot of trouble to several others. One of these problems is that of Driving Under Influence (DUI).
Not only is driving under the influence of sedatives like alcohol dangerous to the drivers themselves, but it can also be very lethal to anyone else who is on the road. Therefore, there are strict laws to protect people from drivers who are driving under the influence. However, sometimes, in the case of a first defense DUI, the punishment is not as severe, and fair warnings are given to the first-time DUI driver. Here are a few things you need to know about a first defense DUI in South Carolina.
First Defense DUI In South Carolina
In South Carolina, the law states that the driver is DUI when the total alcohol in the blood is more than or equal to 0.08% or when the driver is caught driving under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or intoxicant.
To elaborate the criteria for figuring out if a driver can drive, tests determine if the driver’s material senses are impaired and they are not in the condition to drive a vehicle. The convicted person usually undergoes thorough screening and may have to pay a fine, do community service, and sometimes experience a driving license suspension. It is considered a first offense DUI if the driver has no past DUI convictions for ten years.
The Punishment Under Criminal Offense
For an offender who is committing a DUI for the first time, the punishment can vary significantly based on blood alcohol level and extent of damage, but generally falls under the following conditions:
The first punishment in question is the prison. Depending on the amount of alcohol present in the blood, the sentence might vary. The punishment is less than seven days for someone whose blood alcohol levels are less than 0.10%.
For a blood alcohol level that lies anywhere between 0.10% and 0.16%, the punishment can go up to more than seven days, with seven being the bare minimum. Furthermore, if the blood alcohol levels exceed 0.16%, the prison time significantly can exceed from 30 to 90 days based on the other specifics of the crime.
Most of the time, the judge can recommend an equal amount of community service instead of jail, and especially in the case of first offenders, that is usually what happens.
Payment of Fine
There are also some fines that are mandatorily due from the offender. Following the same classifications as the prison time, for someone caught with a blood alcohol level below 0.10%, the fine is $400. For someone caught with a blood alcohol level between 0.10% and 0.16%, the fine is $500, and for anything beyond that, the penalty can go up to $1000.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Every person convicted of a DUI is responsible for their actions and is therefore required to undergo an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This requires them to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation, and based on the results of these tests, they are supposed to undergo the recommended treatment.
Suspension of Driver’s License
Other than the punishments discussed so far, the judge will also ensure a temporary suspension of the offender’s driving license for a first defense DUI. This suspension is usually for about six months. Meanwhile, the offender can get a provisional license to drive during the suspension time if they take part in the ADSAP program.
If the driver’s blood alcohol levels had exceeded 0.15% during testing, they get an additive suspension of 1 month. They are also not eligible for the provisional license. However, they can drive with an ignition interlock device (IID).
One of the most important things to do when you are caught in a DUI case is to refer to an experienced attorney and consult them about the charges you might face and the procedure underlying them. This can help you in a lot of ways and reduce the amount of money you spend unnecessarily. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges and wants to learn more about first defense DUI in South Carolina, contact us today.