First DUI Offense

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First DUI Offense Lawyer in Columbia, SC

Motorists are considered impaired if their BAC is 0.05% to 0.08%, and there is corroborating evidence suggesting that they are intoxicated. If your BAC is 0.08%, you will be charged with DUI in South Carolina.

If you are charged for DUI, that does not mean that you are automatically guilty. A prosecutor has the task of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest standard of proof in the law.

If you are facing drunk driving allegations, you need a Columbia first DUI offense lawyer who will advocate on your behalf.

Penalties for a First DUI Offense in SC

Many people who are charged with a DUI are first-time offenders. Even first-time offenders face severe consequences if found guilty. Under South Carolina Code §56-5-2930, a person who has no prior DUI offenses will have to pay $400 in fines. Even with no prior offenses, you will serve a mandatory sentence of 48 hours.

The circumstances behind your arrest will determine the severity of your punishment. For instance, if your BAC is .10% to .16%, there will be a mandatory fine of $500. You will be imprisoned for at least 72 hours, potentially serving up to one month.

First-time offenders will have their license suspended for six months. However, if it is your first offense and your BAC is .14% or less, you can apply for a provisional license. Also known as a “hardship” license, this will allow you to drive your kids to school, go to work, and attend court-ordered programs.

Ignition Interlock Device Program

If you are a first-time offender and your BAC was .15% or more at the time of your arrest, you will be required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Device program. The program is overseen by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.

You will be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your vehicle. You will have to breathe into the device, which will measure your BAC, in order to start the engine. The state penalizes those who try to cover the camera lens or get a third party to breathe into the device on their behalf.

Field Sobriety Tests

A police officer will administer three standard field sobriety tests when trying to determine if someone is driving inebriated. These three tests are:

It is possible to fail these tests even if you are sober. Certain medical conditions can affect your inner ear, making it more difficult to balance. A Columbia first DUI offense lawyer will know when to question the validity of the test results.

Charged with DUI? Contact our Columbia First DUI Offense Lawyer Today

A DUI conviction remains on your criminal record forever, making it difficult to secure employment and housing. It can even prevent you from being granted visitation rights.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you need a Columbia DUI offense lawyer who will fight for you. Reach out to our legal team today by phone or by using our online contact form.