Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of a traffic stop, collision or arrest will determine the charges and penalties you face when accused of a driving under the influence (DUI) offense. People find the different rules and timelines to be rather confusing.
South Carolina has different BAC limits for people with different licenses. Someone driving a commercial vehicle, for example, should not have a BAC any higher than 0.04%. Someone driving their own passenger vehicle is at risk of a DUI charge once their BAC is 0.08% or higher. For someone with a BAC of nearly twice the legal limit, there are much more serious possible penalties. There are also strict rules for those who hope to protect their driving privileges.
Your license is at risk
Most DUI charges will lead to license suspension. People who refuse chemical testing don’t even have to wait for the courts to convict them to lose their license. They face an immediate administrative suspension of their license. Others will lose their license automatically because their BAC was 0.15% or higher at the time of the stop.
Without a license, it can be nearly impossible to get to work reliably or to get your children to school and other places they need to be. You need to act quickly to protect your driving privileges. Refusing a breath test or having a very high BAC will put you on a very tight schedule if you hope to protect your driving privileges. You will need to file paperwork for a hearing within 30 days. Otherwise, you could go many months without a license.
Balancing real life with court matters can be a challenge
Defending your license and potentially preparing to defend against charges in court can demand a lot of time and energy. From physically going to the courthouse to filing paperwork, there’s a lot of work that goes into preparing a defense strategy.
Many people facing DUI charges in South Carolina will struggle to meet or even understand the strict timing requirements necessary to protect their licenses without professional help. Learning more about the consequences of a DUI charge can help you prepare the best possible response.