A driving under the influence (DUI) charge could stem from operating a vehicle while using any substance, whether from alcohol or drugs. These charges can result in prison sentences, the loss of your driver’s license, fines, and even the requirement to participate in rehabilitative classes. Your specific situation will dictate whether you face a misdemeanor or felony charge.
If you are facing this accusation, a dedicated Irmo DUI lawyer could help you understand your rights. A criminal defense attorney could help build a strong case against the prosecution and lower or eliminate the charges against you.
Variations of a DUI Offense Under State Law
South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930 sets forth the state’s DUI laws, some of which fall under closely related statutory sections. For each, a strong defense is required to protect a defendant’s rights. Different offenses include:
- First, second, third, and subsequent convictions
- Underage DUI
- Felony-level conviction
- DUI on a military base
- Flying under the influence
- Boating under the influence
- Driving under the influence of drugs
These forms of a driving with unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC) charge could be what a defendant faces in their criminal case. A well-trained DUI defense attorney in Irmo knows how to handle each of the variations and build a customized defense to fit the allegations.
Penalties for Irmo DUI Convictions
Serious penalties could arise from a DUI conviction, so it is critical to put up a proper defense. These penalties tend to become more severe based upon the prior number of DUIs in a defendant’s history. Other factors such as an incredibly high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) could also impact the consequences of a conviction.
Depending on the specific DUI charge, a criminal defendant may face any of the following if convicted:
- Lengthy jail or prison sentences
- Hefty fines
- Suspension or revocation of a defendant’s driver’s license
- Obligation to purchase SR-22 high risk insurance
- Obligation to complete addiction or driving safety classes such as the Alcohol Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)
ADSAP is a class run by the government that is meant to teach people about substance abuse. These classes offer group and individual sessions depending on the circumstances of the defendant’s alleged conduct. The number of classes someone has to take depends on that person’s drinking habits or usage of other drugs. An ADSAP worker will track the participant’s progress and determine if they have fulfilled the requirements of the conviction ordered by details of their sentence.
Any of this penalties listed above may greatly impact a defendant’s life. A skilled Irmo DUAC attorney could help lower the potential penalties someone might face after being charged with this crime.
How Do Authorities Determine Intoxication in DUAC Cases?
Law enforcement is trained to look for possible indicators of someone driving with unlawful alcohol concentration. They look for certain signs that may indicate the use of drug or alcohol, including blood shot eyes, confusion, slurred speech, et cetera. These observations may be used as evidence at trial to attempt to prove the defendant’s intoxication.
Law enforcement could also utilize field sobriety tests during a traffic stop to determine if a defendant is on a substance. These tests often include a breathalyzer test, walk the line test, and a one-leg stand test. If the driver is taken to a police station, more accurate and admissible breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests may be used. This potential evidence against a defendant may be challenged with a proper defense.
A diligent Irmo DUI attorney could help prove that these tests were not accurate or provided borderline results to get the charges lowered or dismissed.
Consult an Irmo DUI Attorney Today
Even a first-time DUAC offense could result in serious penalties which is why an accomplished attorney could be your best option to defend yourself. Your case is unique and deserves an in-depth analysis by a skilled legal team to help you choose the best path moving forward.
An experienced Irmo DUI lawyer is ready to consult with you and protect your rights. Contact our office today to learn more about your options.