DUI in Orangeburg, South Carolina
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, DUI attorneys in Orangeburg, SC can help you weigh out your options to decide what steps you should take in the legal process. DUI offenders in South Carolina can face hefty fines, jail time, license suspensions, ignition interlock device requirements (IIDs), and/or drug safety programs. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is in your best interest to contact a drunk driving lawyer who is familiar with South Carolina DUI laws. DUI charges (whether alcohol or drug-related) result in criminal penalties as well as administrative penalties with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These are serious charges and require the help of a DUI lawyer in order to have them dismissed or reduced.
DUIs in South Carolina
Driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher in South Carolina is an illegal offense. If you are under the age of 21, it is considered illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02% or higher. In addition to this, commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders cannot drive with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. It is also important to note that it is possible for you to receive a DUI even if your blood alcohol level is under South Carolina’s legal limit depending on the situation and circumstances surrounding the incident. This is something that DUI lawyers will inform you of if you are inquiring about your state’s DUI laws.
A drunk driving lawyer can sit down with you to determine the circumstances surrounding your DUI. DUI lawyers specialize in driving while impaired charges, which means that they can walk you through what to expect during the court process. A DUI lawyer can also help determine if the state has a strong case against you.
South Carolina also carries an Implied Consent Law which states that you must participate in a breath, blood or urine test when you are arrested for driving under the influence. If you are unsure of how the Implied Consent Law affects you, a DUI lawyer can walk you through what it means if you have been charged with a DUI.
If an officer has cause to believe that you are driving while impaired, you automatically give consent to undergo a test of your blood or breath for alcohol. You also consent to a urine test for drugs. You are legally obligated to take the test. If you refuse to take the test, you will be penalized, which is why you should consult with a DUI attorney if you have any questions whatsoever about refusing to complete a breathalyzer test.
If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she will start the process by first offering you a breathalyzer test. As any DUI lawyer will tell you, a breathalyzer test must be conducted within two hours of when you last operated a motor vehicle. If a police officer completed a breathalyzer test on you and you are unsure how long it had been after you had operated your vehicle, be sure to voice this is your DUI lawyer, who will investigate to make sure the correct procedure was followed. Blood and urine tests must occur within three hours of when you last operated a motor vehicle. Check with your DUI lawyer to ensure that the timing was correct when the test was administered.
The South Carolina Code Annotated 56-5-2950 provides a complete overview of the Implied Consent Law, and your drunk driving lawyer will have a full understanding of it too. If you’re confused about what this law means for you (whether you have been charged with a DUI or not), speak to a DUI attorney who can give you an idea of what the law entails.
Consult with a DUI lawyer to determine if the circumstances surrounding your arrest were sufficient enough for implied consent and if the arresting officer followed all necessary procedures before, during, and after your rest. A drunk driving lawyer will analyze the factors surrounding your arrest and help determine what kind of a case they can build for you.
Refusal of a DUI Test in South Carolina
Any DUI lawyer will be fully aware of the protocol which must be followed when you are arrested, as there are certain procedures police officers must follow when arresting somebody for a DUI. Drunk driving lawyers are well-informed of the procedures police officers must follow in these situations and will ensure that proper protocol was put in place when reviewing your case. If the proper protocol was not followed during the arrest and subsequent breathalyzer test, your DUI lawyer has a strong case to have your charges either reduced or dismissed completely in a court of law.
When you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, a police officer cannot perform a breathalyzer test unless a video camera is present to record the entirety of the test. Your DUI attorney will retrieve a copy of the video to ensure the test was recorded.
A police officer is also obligated to read you your rights and penalties for refusal of a test. He or she must also provide you with written documentation of the rights and penalties associated with the charge and refusal of the test. The officer should also explain to you that you do not have to take the test. Your DUI lawyer will ensure that the arresting police officer or officers completed these tasks when reviewing your case.
In the event that you refuse to take the test, you will receive a minimum 6-month license suspension, which your DUI lawyer will try to fight if the arresting police officers did not follow protocol. If there is a video of the arrest and breathalyzer test, the video of your refusal may also be used in a court of law against you. If you do take the test, you also have the right to additional tests completed by your choice of medical professional, and a DUI attorney can help you with this.
If your blood-alcohol level is .15% or higher, you will receive a minimum one-month license suspension. DUI attorneys in Orangeburg, SC can help you challenge this suspension, as South Carolina law states that you have the right to a court hearing to challenge it. DUI lawyers recommend that you challenge the suspension by putting in a request for a hearing within 30 days of the suspension. If you decide not to challenge the suspension or if you request a hearing and the suspension is not waived, you are obligated to enter in an alcohol and drug safety program, which your DUI lawyer can assist you with.
When or if you refuse to take a test, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately. When this happens, you should consult with a DUI attorney as soon as possible. If you have refused a test in the past or have any other DUI convictions on your records within the past 10 years, the state of South Carolina can add time to the length of the suspension period. First-time offenders receive an automatic suspension of six months, while second-time offenders (within 10 years of the arrest) receive nine months. Third-time offenders receive 12 months, and four-time offenders receive 15 months. Speak to your DUI attorney for more information on how long your driver’s license will be suspended.
The Consequences of Refusing a Mandatory DUI Test
DUI lawyers are familiar with the South Carolina Code Annotated 56-5-2951 — which outlines the consequences of refusing a test — and will work with you to determine what your next steps should be if you do refuse a test. In the event that you refuse to take a DUI test in South Carolina, a judge can order a $400 fine and/or even a jail sentence between two and 30 days. A judge can also order that you complete community service instead of jail time. Find out more about how a state can use a refusal against you by speaking to your DUI attorney.
There are also administrative penalties associated with being charged with driving under the influence which your drunk driving lawyer can walk you through. These penalties, which are separate from criminal penalties, occur when you refuse to provide a test.
For failing a DUI test or refusing to take one, you will be ordered to complete the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services course. You will also be required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee for your license and carry SR22 insurance for a minimum of 3 years after completion of the suspension. A DUI lawyer will sit down with you and walk you through the penalties and fines you will face for either being charged with a DUI or refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
In addition to this, as per a new law passed in 2014 called Emma’s Law, any offender found to be driving impaired and with a blood-alcohol level of .15 or greater will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on his or her vehicle for 6 months. An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer placed in a vehicle which requires the vehicle owner to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the engine. If alcohol is detected on the offender’s breath, the vehicle will not start. If you have been charged with a DUI, speak to a DUI attorney to find out exactly what an IID entails and how long you will need it.
The Consequences of Driving Under the Influence
If you refuse a chemical test or receive a DUI, you may receive the following penalties:
- First offense: $400 fine, 6-month suspension, minimum 48 hours in jail, ignition interlock device, or a maximum of 30 days in jail and/or 48 hours of community service.
- Second offense: $2,100 to $5,100 fine, indefinite driver’s license suspension, minimum five days in jail or up to a maximum of one year in jail.
- Third offense: $3,800 to $6,300 fine, indefinite driver’s license suspension, minimum of 60 days in jail or up to a maximum of 3 years in jail.
- Fourth offense: fine and suspension to be determined by a court, a minimum of 1 year in jail or a maximum of 5 years in jail.
Note that a blood alcohol level of over .16% will result in higher fines and/or jail time. Speak to your drunk driving lawyer for more information about jail time, fines and license suspensions for DUI charges.
If you are underage and charged with a DUI, be sure to contact DUI Attorneys in Orangeburg, SC who can review your case to determine what your next steps should be and what penalties you may face.
Consult with DUI Attorneys in Orangeburg, South Carolina
A drunk driving attorney can help you reduce or even dismiss the consequences related to your charge. A drunk driving charge is not like other traffic-related charges. It can have serious penalties and requires a knowledgeable DUI lawyer. If a person was injured or property was damaged while you were impaired, or if you are a repeat offender, you will require the advice and consultation of an experienced DUI lawyer who knows your rights, the regulations surrounding South Carolina DUI laws, and how the system in your specific county works.
DUI attorneys in Orangeburg, South Carolina, will review the video tapes and reports associated with your arrest to determine whether the police officer or officers involved followed all necessary procedures and protocol during your arrest. Your DUI attorney will ensure that you have a fair case and will advise you on the best options to take based on the charge and the circumstances surrounding the charge.
Just because you are pulled over for a DUI does not mean that you will automatically face the harshest penalties. When you are charged with a DUI, you should consult with drunk driving lawyers immediately to determine if you can get your charges waived or reduced. DUI lawyers are here to help you and will provide you will all the necessary information you need in the event that you are charged with a DUI offense.