DUI Defense Attorney in Anderson, South Carolina

Getting arrested for a DUI or DWI is a very serious charge and one that needs to be dealt with by a professional. Many people falsely believe that drunk driving charges can be handled on their own, and may avoid reaching out to an attorney. They may think it will be too costly or not worth the effort. However, given how detrimental and far-reaching DUI penalties can be, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to have qualified legal representation in your corner. 

If you’re in the Anderson, South Carolina area or Northlake, Liberty, Pickens, or anywhere in Greenville County, reach out to our team at David F. Stoddard Law Firm. Here, you can speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can answer your questions, educate you on your charges, and work with you to build your defense.  

DUI Charges in South Carolina  

Most states have similar rules and regulations about what counts as a DUI offense. In South Carolina, “driving under the influence” means that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or that you’re operating a vehicle while under the influence of any drug or alcohol. The latter part of this definition can be problematic because as of yet, there are no reliable road-side tests for other drugs (such as marijuana) other than officer observations. Furthermore, if the arresting officer deems your driving to be “materially and appreciably impaired,” then you can conceivably receive a DUI charge for having any amount of drugs in your system. 

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Sobriety Tests and Your Rights  

One of the most common ways law enforcement measures a driver’s level of impairment (aside from a breathalyzer) is by using roadside sobriety tests such as the one leg stand or walk & turn. It’s important to note that unlike a breath test which you’ve given your implied consent to simply by driving on South Carolina’s roadways, you are not required to complete a sobriety test. However, your refusal to cooperate may be used against you by the prosecution. If you do decline, always ensure you’re doing so calmly and politely.  

Possible Penalties 

The possible DUI penalties you could be facing will depend on the extent of your charges and whether you have any DUI convictions in your past, but they do tend to be very strict compared with other states. If this is your first offense you may see jail time of 48 hours to one year and fines of up to $1,000. For a third offense you could see two months to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. This is in addition to having your license suspended. There are alternatives that may be available to some drivers. For example, a judge may allow you to complete community service hours in lieu of jail time. Also, anyone convicted of a DUI in South Carolina is required to take part in the "Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program" (ADSAP).  

Ignition Interlock Program  

The Ignition Interlock Program is designed to help drivers convicted of a DUI regain their driving privileges while also having their alcohol intake monitored each time they drive. Using an ignition interlock device (IID), the driver must blow into the device to prove they haven’t been drinking. If no alcohol is detected, then the car will start. In general, the more serious your charges and the more DUI convictions you’ve had, the longer you must have the IID installed in your car.

DUI Defense Attorney in Anderson, South Carolina  

No one should face DUI charges alone. If you’ve recently been arrested for a DUI and would like to speak with a lawyer about your options for defense, call us at David F. Stoddard Law Firm in Anderson, South Carolina.