Being pulled over on suspicion of DUI can be embarrassing, stressful, and scary.
The harsh flashing lights, the close watch on your every move, and the invasive-feeling questions can seem like you’re in an interrogation room. You might be asked to blow into a device to test your breath.
Worse yet are the possible legal consequences of a DUI conviction in South Carolina.
Some DUI penalties in South Carolina
Under the wrong circumstances, a first offense might mean up to 90 days in jail, a $1000 fine, and 6-month revocation of your driver’s license. A third offense may mean 5 years, $10,000 fine, a 4-year revocation, and your car might be confiscated.
All DUI offenses may require you to have an interlock device installed in your car. You would need to blow alcohol-free breath into the device for your car to start.
DUI convictions show up in background checks. DUI arrests do too, whether they lead to a conviction or not. You commonly must pass background checks to get a job where a lot of trust is placed in you, such as schools, hospitals, financial and government institutions.
Defenses for a DUI charge are certainly possible. Many usually require significant legal knowledge and experience.
Such defenses include challenging the right of the officer to make the initial stop or the techniques that were used to test for intoxication or blood alcohol.
South Carolina law requires DUI traffic stops to be videotaped, a requirement that police sometimes don’t adequately meet.
Less common and even more difficult defenses are possible when you’ve been forced to drive by someone else, needed to drive for some extremely urgent reason, or were entrapped by an officer who coaxed you to drink and then to drive.
Defense attorneys can sometimes negotiate outcomes that are better for both their client and the state’s judicial system.
Such tailored settlements require extensive experience in South Carolina’s DUI laws and the priorities of the state’s legal system, as well as an understanding of your own needs and priorities.