DUI, DUAC, and Other Alcohol-Related Defense

Charleston Criminal Defense Attorney

A drunk driving charge in South Carolina can take the form of either DUI or DUAC.  A DUI conviction carries serious penalties, including hefty fines and possible jail time.  You will also lose your driver's license and could be forced to install an ignition interlock device on your car, requiring you to blow into a machine every time you want to start your vehicle.  Your conviction (or guilty plea) will show up on background checks when you look for a job, and you'll have to explain your charges to potential employers.

Drunk Driving Penalties & Defense in South Carolina

The criminal penalties for DUI are severe, and they vary significantly depending on your blood-alcohol content and the number of prior offenses you may have.  For example, you could receive a $6,500 fine and 3 years in jail for a second offense, or a $10,000 fine and 5 years in jail for a third offense.  You'll also lose your driver's license and have to complete an alcohol abuse program.  Get more details about South Carolina DUI penalties.

With a dedicated criminal defense attorney representing you on your DUI charge, you may be more likely to reach a better result.  I always request to see all the prosecution and police evidence against you, and closely analyze it for any flaws.  South Carolina requires the police to take specific steps when arresting and charging someone with DUI, and there are often ways to attack the State's case.  I'll start from the time the police pulled you over, and continue to scrutinize each action in the chain of events, challenging any defects in police procedure or evidence along the way.  We may be able to challenge the reason the police stopped you in the first place, how you were questioned by the police, or even how a breath or blood test was given.  I'll also help you by attempting to negotiate with the State for the possibility of a lesser charge, or defend you all the way through trial if it's in your best interest.

The best advice, of course, is to never drive drunk.  However, if you've been arrested and charged with DUI, you still have important rights.  Contact me online or call me at (843) 720-3726 to see how I can help you protect yourself and assert your rights.

Things You Should Know About DUIs

  • You should never offer to take a Breathalyzer test if you've been drinking at all, even if it was several hours ago.  Why give the police free evidence against you?
  • The police cannot force you to take a Breathalyzer or blood test unless you're being charged with felony DUI.
  • If you refuse a Breathalyzer, you will automatically lose your driver's license for 6 months.  However, an attorney can help you apply for a temporary restricted license while your case is pending.
  • Don't try to level with the police and tell them you've had even 1 drink, even if it was much earlier.  In fact, don't say anything at all. Anything you say to the police can be used against you in court -- not to help you.
  • If you're in college and have a South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, you'll lose it and be unable to reapply until 1 full academic year after your DUI conviction.
  • In addition to the statutory fine, you will also be assessed significant court fees and administrative costs, may have your vehicle immobilized, and may be forced to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense.

Contact Me

If you've been arrested and charged with DUI or DUAC, you'll need a dedicated criminal defense attorney who understands how to analyze and challenge the State's evidence against you.  Contact me at (843) 720-3726 or via the online contact form to see how I can help you try to avoid a serious criminal conviction.