South Carolina DUI Lawyers
Offices in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, and Columbia.
Driving under the influence (DUI) in South Carolina is a complex area of law that has its own set of rules and caselaw.
DUI charges can include driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC), felony DUI with death or great bodily injury, or South Carolina’s Zero Tolerance law for underaged drivers.
A DUI conviction has serious consequences that include license suspension, huge fines, requirements for ignition interlock devices, SR-22 insurance, enrollment in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP), and a criminal record that will affect your job opportunities. Unlike other misdemeanor offenses, a South Carolina DUI conviction can never be expunged and will stay on your record for the rest of your life.
What is DUI?
In a traditional DUI case, the prosecution must prove that a person was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, “to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired.”
From the moment the traffic stop begins, the officer is collecting evidence that will be used at trial to prove impairment such as:
- Statements that you make about how much you’ve had to drink.
- The officer’s observations and the observations of any other witnesses at the scene.
- Field sobriety tests on the roadside such as the one leg stand (OLS), walk and turn (WAT), or horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) tests.
- Results from the Datamaster/ breathalyzer test.
- Results from blood or urine tests.
- Video recordings from the traffic stop and the Datamaster room.
You could also be charged with DUAC which is South Carolina’s “per se” statute. In a DUAC case, the state only needs to prove that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was greater than .08 which can be done through test results from the breathalyzer, blood samples, or urine samples. If a person refuses the breathalyzer or blood samples, they will most likely be charged with DUI instead of DUAC.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for My DUI Case?
In most cases, the court will not appoint an attorney in misdemeanor DUI cases, and it is an unfortunate fact that pro-se defendants who attempt to represent themselves are usually convicted. The cost of retaining a DUI defense attorney who knows what they are doing is usually significantly less than the cost of paying fines, supervision for an ignition interlock device, SR-22 insurance for three years, DMV fees to reinstate your license, and the ADSAP program. Even if you don’t care about having a conviction on your record and all the negative consequences that come with it, it’s a matter of simple economics.
Your DUI defense attorney at Coastal Law, LLC, will get all the evidence in your case including the videos from the traffic stop and breathalyzer room, carefully analyze the reports and videos, locate any witnesses that could help you, and build the best defense possible based on South Carolina’s DUI laws and the circumstances of your case. Based on the strength of your defense, your DUI lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor, get your case dismissed, or try your case to a jury.
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If you have been charged with DUI or DUAC in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, or Columbia areas, contact the South Carolina DUI defense lawyers at Coastal Law, LLC, today at (843) 488-5000 to find out how we can help.
1104 North Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
1314 2nd Avenue
Conway, SC 29526
231 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
1201 Main Street, Suite 1913
Columbia, SC 29201
** Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
** Clients may be responsible for costs in addition to attorney’s fees. In percentage based cases, fees are calculated prior to deducting costs.
** This website is meant to provide meaningful information, but does not create an attorney-client relationship. As each legal issue is unique, please consult with our firm prior to relying on any information found on this site.