Beaufort County DUI Defense Lawyers
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Charges in South Carolina
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The state of South Carolina takes these charges very seriously. If convicted, you could face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and other harsh criminal penalties. Even if you are not formally convicted, you could lose your driver’s license for six months or more if you are cited for DUI.
At Bauer & Metro, P.C., we represent people throughout the South Carolina Lowcountry who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Our Beaufort County DUI defense attorneys understand the law and know how to determine whether your rights were violated during your arrest. We are prepared to build a strong defense on your behalf while working to help you avoid jail time and keep your driving privileges.
If your driver’s license was suspended after a DUI arrest, you only have 30 days to file an appeal. We urge you to contact our firm right away to learn how we can help.
"I trust them completely and wouldn’t think of going anywhere else when in need of the types of legal services this firm provides."Bianca G.
"If you find yourself in need of a hand, I would recommend Metro & Bauer to anyone."Jonathan F.
"Sam was amazing and showed that he truly cared about my case"Kent C.
What Is South Carolina’s DUI Law?
In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle (including a car, pickup truck, ATV, boat, or any other motorized vehicle) while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant, including both illegal and prescription drugs. Most often, a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is used to determine whether they are “under the influence.” The state prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle of any kind with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
However, you can still be arrested for and convicted of DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit. If an arresting officer has reason to believe that your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is significantly impaired, you could face DUI charges. Additionally, under the state’s “zero tolerance” policy, minors (people under the legal drinking age of 21) are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any detectable alcohol in their system or a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
Can You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in South Carolina?
When you receive a driver’s license in South Carolina, you automatically agree to the state’s implied consent law. Under this law, you must submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test to determine your BAC when arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In other words, you cannot refuse a breathalyzer test without facing serious consequences.
If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical BAC test after being pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you will face an automatic driver’s license suspension of six months. If it is your second time being arrested for DUI within 10 years, and you refuse a breathalyzer or chemical test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for nine months.
What Are the Penalties for DUI in South Carolina?
As previously mentioned, the state of South Carolina takes DUI charges very seriously. As such, the penalties for a DUI conviction are harsh.
For a first-time DUI conviction, you face the following penalties:
- 48 hours to 1 year in jail
- $400 to $1,000 in fines
- Community service equal to the amount of time you would have spent in jail, if community service in lieu of jail time is permitted by the judge
If you are convicted of DUI a second time within 10 years, you face the following penalties:
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Learn How Our Beaufort County DUI Attorneys Can Help
At Bauer & Metro, P.C., we understand the challenges you face after a DUI arrest. Our experienced legal team is here to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights every step of the way. We can help you fight back against your charges, work to have your driver’s license reinstated, and strive to avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction. Our firm has earned a solid reputation among the local community for providing aggressive defense and personalized service based on compassion, integrity, and trust.