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South Carolina Drinking And Driving Laws

November 2, 2017


Law enforcement efforts at targeting drunk drivers are aggressive. In addition to risking your own and other driver’s safety, you run the risk of getting pulled over or getting caught in a traffic checkpoint and being charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). These are serious charges in South Carolina, which can result in fines, mandatory drug and alcohol counseling, the loss of your driving privileges and, in some cases, mandatory jail time. Overindulging is never a good idea, but did you know that you could get a DUI even if you have only had a few drinks? The following outlines South Carolina drinking and driving laws and charges drivers can face for driving with alcohol in their bloodstream—even if it is under the legal limit.


DUI And DUAC In South Carolina


Under the South Carolina Motor Vehicle Code, driving with an unlawful alcohol content (DUAC) is known as DUI per se. According to South Carolina drinking and driving laws, drivers face DUAC charges if they are caught driving with a breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent or greater, even if there were no other indicators that the driver was impaired. The higher the BAC percentage is, the more severe the penalties will be.


The law is specific, though, in stating that driving under any amount of impairment is prohibited. Even if you test under the legal limit, you could still face DUI charges and penalties for drunk driving. To be convicted of a DUI if you were below the BAC limit, however, the prosecutor must provide additional evidence that you were driving impaired. This could include:


  • Being spotted by an officer while weaving in and out of your lane

  • Going over or under the speed limit

  • Disregarding stop signs and traffic signals

  • Getting into an accident, either with another driver or by hitting an inanimate object


DUI charges can involve a BAC level as low as .05 percent. If convicted, you can face penalties that include fines of up to $400 or more, suspension of your driver’s license for six months, and mandatory participation in the South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Safety Program (ADSAP).


Protecting Yourself Against DUI


BAC levels are determined by how much you drink, but also by the course of time in which the drinks were consumed, together with factors such as your age, weight, sex, and whether you drank on an empty stomach. According to a report by Business Insider, having as few as two or three drinks over the course of an hour could result in a BAC of .05 or higher, causing you to be cited for DUI.


Get Help Today


If you are facing these types of charges, call or contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC online today. We can arrange a free consultation with our Aiken DUI defense attorneys who can advise you on South Carolina drinking and driving laws and the best course of action to avoid penalties and the impacts a conviction can have on your driving record.




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