Driving under the influence (DUI) laws often vary from state to state. While each state has specific laws prohibiting drinking and operating a motor vehicle, acceptable alcohol limits depend on the state in which you reside. In Greenville, South Carolina, anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC), greater than 0.08%, may be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). You can also have a BAC at a minimum level of 0.05% and be arrested if you fail a field sobriety test given by a police officer. As Greenville DUI defense lawyers, we feel the best way to avoid a drunken driving charge is to avoid operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages, but there are many occasions when this does not happen.
If you or someone you love has a pending DUI charge in Greenville, South Carolina, your first call should be to an attorney to help you deal with the upcoming charges and prevent losing your driver’s license. A lawyer will be able to explain the laws of the state to you explain what the charges against you are and help you present a defense for your court date. Even if decide not to hire an attorney, you should at least seek the advice of one before you head into court.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Greenville, South Carolina?
The laws of the state prevent an individual from driving a car while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs if your abilities are impaired. If you have a BAC of 0.08% or greater, it is a violation of the law and there no proof of impairment is necessary, and you can face charges and penalties. Greenville, South Carolina also has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drivers, so any driver under the age of 21 with a BAC above 0.02% will face a license suspension of three to six months. An underage driver refusing to consent to a BAC test will automatically have driver’s license privileges suspended for six months or a year if there is a prior alcohol conviction or suspension in the prior five years.
The punishment for DUI or DUAC (driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration) can be severe especially if it is not your first offense. The criminal punishments for DUI and DUAC in Greenville, South Carolina are as follows:
- First Offense for DUI or DUAC – You can receive up to 30 days in jail, a $400 fine and a 6-month license suspension for a BAC under 0.10%; 30 days in jail and a $500 fine and a 6-month license suspension for a BAC of 0.10-0.16%. A 90-day jail sentence and $1,000 fine and 6-month license suspension may apply for a BAC level over 0.16%.
- Second Offense for DUI or DUAC – The second offense is a misdemeanor, and you can receive up to 1-year in jail and a $5,100 fine and a 1-year license suspension for a BAC under 0.10%; a 1-year license suspension and a $5,500 fine for a BAC 0.10-0.16%. If your BAC is 0.16% or greater, you can receive up to 3 years in jail, a $6,500 fine, and a 1-year license suspension.
- Third Offense for DUI or DUAC – This charge is also a misdemeanor and you can receive up to 3 years in jail, a $6,300 fine and a 2 or 4-year license suspension for a BAC under 0.10%, or 4 years in jail, a $7,500 fine and a 2 to 4-year license suspension for a BAC of 0.10-0.16% or greater. You will receive up to 5 years in jail, a $10,000 fine, and a 2 to 4-year license suspension for a BAC over 0.16%.
- Fourth DUI or DUAC offense – This results in a felony charge that can receive up to 5 years in jail and permanent license revocation for a BAC under 0.10%, or up to 6 years in jail and permanent license revocation for a BAC 0,10-0.16% or greater. You can receive up to 7 years in jail and a permanent license revocation for a BAC over 0.16%.
How Can A Greenville, South Carolina DUI Defense Attorney Help Me?
If you or someone you love has a pending DUI case, you should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation. A lawyer can let you know what penalties you may be facing due to your BAC and prior arrest history. You can face serious charges even if it is your first offense, so you want to make sure you have the best possible defense prepared on your behalf. An attorney may be able to fight to get you a sentence that does not cause you to lose your driving privileges or pay stiff penalties. You will most likely face a harsher punishment if you choose to represent yourself simply because you are not knowledgeable in the law and how the system works. Now is not the time to test your legal skills. Hire an attorney to protect your rights and your driving privileges.
Contact the Bateman Firm for Help with Your DUI Defense Case
If you are facing a DUI or DUAC charge, contact the Bateman Firm in Greenville, South Carolina and schedule a consultation and case review. We know how difficult and embarrassing the charges are, but we also understand that people are human and make mistakes. Let us help you prevent your charge from costing you the right to drive for an extended period of time. Our attorney and staff will remain by your side throughout the entire process to make sure you receive fair treatment. We can answer all your questions about possible fines and penalties you may be facing.
Call our DUI defense attorney today so we can discuss your situation and immediately get to work on preparing a DUI defense. We are here to help you resolve your DUI defense case quickly and protect your driving privileges. Contact our DUI attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation.