3 potential defenses against a DUI charge in South Carolina

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2021 | DUI

The acronym DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” a crime that is either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. In South Carolina, it is not illegal to consume alcohol and drive.

The law is only violated if someone is behind the wheel with a Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, at or above a set point. The BAC is 0.08% in the state, though a minimum BAC of 0.05% (but under 0.08%) taken with other evidence may still warrant a DUI charge. However, simply failing a Breathalyzer test does not mean immediate conviction. There exist possible defenses to present in court to appeal for dismissal or reduction to reckless driving depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest.

1. Faulty breath test

Incidents have occurred where breathalyzers provided unreliable results. Incorrect operation or improper calibration may both lead to the devices displaying higher numbers than is accurate. If there is a possibility that the BAC may be wrong, the court/judge may throw it out.

2. Other causes for common intoxication signs

Police officers may mistake signs like slurred speech, unsteadiness on the feet, irregular driving and glassy/watery eyes for indicators of inebriation. However, in the case of their submittal as proof of drunkenness, an argument may exist that other factors caused them (illness, exhaustion, automobile malfunction, smoke and etcetera).

3. Police error

Besides police mistakes involving testing and misinterpretation, other errors may aid in sowing reasonable doubt of guilt. Examples include officers not filling out documentation correctly or failing to follow procedure properly.

While fighting a DUI charge may be a difficult path, it is not an untraversable one. Any piece of information missing from the defense may mean the difference between a guilty verdict and an acquittal or downgrade in crime allegation.