It is strictly prohibited in South Carolina to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, especially for underage individuals. Our advice: don’t drink and drive, but if you or someone you know has been charged with underage drunk driving, it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney from the Bateman Law Firm.
A qualified Clemson, South Carolina, DUI lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and work to get the best (or rather the least severe) possible outcome in your case. Contact an attorney at the Bateman Law Firm today to learn more about your legal options.
In this article, we’ll review the laws regarding underage drunk driving, including the penalties you might face if convicted. We’ll also go over some of the possible defenses, as well as what efforts you may make to protect yourself and prevent a DUI conviction.
Drinking Laws for Underage Drivers in South Carolina
If you’re under 21, having any percentage of blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) behind the wheel is illegal in South Carolina. If you break this law, you might risk fines, prison time, and loss of license. Taking any chances is thus not worth it.
Just wait till you’re of legal drinking age and even then, know how much you can have and still stay sober to drive safely (the blood alcohol concentration should not exceed .08% in this case).
In short: don’t drink and drive, but if it happens, don’t delay calling a lawyer!
What Is The Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit?
The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers under 21 is .02%, meaning that no alcohol is permitted in the systems of underage individuals. In such cases, a DUI can be charged if a person is detected driving with a BAC of.02% or higher.
Remember that this limitation applies to all states, not just one. So, make sure you know and follow the legal limit wherever you are.
Is A Minor Allowed To Have Any Alcohol in their System While Driving?
So, what is the law regarding minors intoxicated driving? It’s simple: if you’re under 21, you can’t drive with any measurable level of alcohol in your system. In other words, even if you feel sober, you can be charged with DUI if a breathalyzer or blood test shows the slightest hint of alcohol in your system.
Furthermore, underage individuals do not need to be impaired to be charged with DUI. So even if you only drank just a little bit, you may still have problems with the law.
To summarize, it is preferable to avoid drinking and driving when underage. Remember that while 21 may not seem like a long time away, zero tolerance is essential regarding underage drunk driving rules.
There are many things at stake if you’re convicted of a DUI, so getting legal help from a qualified South Carolina DUI lawyer is essential.
Penalties And Consequences Of Underage Drunk Driving
If you are found driving while intoxicated (DWI) as a child in Clemson, you might face various punishments, from a fine and community service to jail time.
The following are some of the potential consequences of underage DWI:
- A first offense can result in a $500 fine, community service, and up to six months in jail.
- A second offense can result in a $1,000 fine, community service, and up to one year in jail.
- A third violation can result in a $2,000 fine, community service, and up to two years in prison.
- A fourth or subsequent crime can result in a $4,000 fine, community service, and three to ten years in prison.
Tips To Avoid Underage Drunk Driving Charges
The greatest advice for underage DUI is to avoid alcohol entirely. Still, here are a few tips to help you avoid being pulled over when driving under the influence of alcohol.
First and foremost, never drive after having drunk alcohol. Although not all states in the United States have zero-tolerance laws for underage drunk driving, you can be charged with one if you are pulled over with any detectable level of alcohol in your system.
If you must attend a party or event where alcohol is served, appoint a sober driver for your group. If one is not available, make plans for alternate modes of transportation such as public transit or taxis/ride-sharing services.
Finally, don’t be nervous about speaking out if someone tries to convince you to drive after they’ve been drinking. Taking a position and saying no may result in the saving of lives. Not just yours but also the drivers around you who may come into touch with someone who has been drinking and driving.
Costs Associated With Underage DUI Conviction
Arrest for underage drunk driving bears serious consequences. Depending on the severity of the violation, fines and court expenses run from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Furthermore, any license suspension or revocation linked with your conviction will require the payment of a reinstatement or reinstatement review fee.
You may also be required to attend alcohol safety lessons and perform community service hours. Also, your car insurance will likely increase with a DUI conviction, making it even more expensive. It’s crucial to note that even if you’re acquitted, the expenses of an underage DUI arrest can be significant.
An attorney can help you navigate these troubled waters and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process.
Let a Clemson, South Carolina DUI Lawyer Help!
If you face underage drunk driving charges in Clemson, South Carolina, you should get legal counsel immediately. A qualified Clemson DUI attorney from the Bateman Law Firm will review your case and provide you with personalized guidance on how to proceed.
Most of our criminal defense lawyers in Clemson, South Carolina have handled similar cases, so we can advise you on the potential consequences if you are found guilty. In addition to legal advice, we can assist you in negotiating a better sentence or plea bargain with the state.
Whatever your case is, an experienced Clemson, South Carolina DUI lawyer will help you understand your rights and fight for a favorable resolution. You’ll have the best chance of avoiding major penalties or convictions that have a long-term impact on your future if you follow our advice and counsel.
Contact the Bateman Law Firm without delay to get the legal help you need!