Fourth Or Subsequent DUI Or DUAC Offenses
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In South Carolina, if a driver is pulled over after they have been using drugs or drinking alcohol, the consequences can be life-altering. These consequences fall under the penalties that are listed under the state’s DUAC and DUI laws.
There are state statues that have been established which determine the restrictions placed on blood alcohol levels, the basis for when a driver can be tested as well as the fines and penalties that are involved.
This law prohibits a person who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol from operating a motor vehicle if there is evidence that the driver is unable to safely maintain control of the vehicle. The arresting officer makes this determination based on whether or not the person’s faculties are physically and mentally impaired.
If a driver has a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, that is more than 0.08%, the officer will infer that the driver is under the influence while operating a vehicle.
However, if the driver has a blood alcohol level that is less than 0.08% but more than 0.05%, other evidence will be taken into consideration when determining if the driver is under the influence. One of the most common types of evidence used in these situations is a sobriety test.
These laws prohibit a driver from operating a vehicle if they have a BAC that is over 0.08%. It is important to note, under this law, there is no statue that states other evidence of impairment must be included. In other words, only the BAC level is required in order for the state to get a conviction.
There are administrative penalties associated with these types of convictions in South Carolina. The penalties that a driver will face will depend on the offense.
For example, a driver who is charged and convicted with a fourth offense DUI or DUAC will face the toughest penalties.
The fourth offense is considered a felony, and it is punishable with up to 5 years in jail and a permanently revoked driver’s license. This penalty applies to those who have a BAC that is less than 0.10%.
For a BAC that is between 0.10% and 0.16%, a person faces up to 6 years in jail and the loss of their driver’s license permanently. Those with BAC of 0.16% and above face up to a 7 year sentence and a permanent loss of their driver’s license.
For those with first, second or third offenses, they may be required to have ignition interlock system installed on their vehicles in addition to possible fines and jail sentences after their driver’s licenses are no longer suspended.
It is important to remember that if you are convicted of either of these offenses in South Carolina, you will lose your driving privileges for at least six months. After the conviction, drivers are eligible to apply for provisional licenses.
The DUI and DUAC laws in South Carolina can be confusing. If you have been charged with a DUI or DUAC, you should consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in DUI cases so you understand your responsibilities and your rights.