Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC) are serious offenses in South Carolina. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI or DUAC, it can be a scary and overwhelming experience. As a law firm specializing in DUI defense, we understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with these charges. Our goal is to provide you with information that will help you better understand these charges, the difference between DUI and DUAC in South Carolina, and what your options are.
DUI vs. DUAC in South Carolina
DUI and DUAC are similar charges, but they are not the same. In South Carolina, DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means that you are driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs and cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. DUAC, on the other hand, refers to driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration. This means that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit of .08%. You can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below .08%, as impairment can occur at lower levels.
The penalties for DUI and DUAC in South Carolina are similar, but there are some differences. Both charges carry fines, license suspension, and possible jail time. However, DUI is a more serious offense and carries steeper penalties.
Is It Better to Plead Guilty to DUAC than a DUI?
DUAC and DUI are both serious charges in South Carolina, and both carry significant penalties if convicted. DUAC is a lesser-included offense of DUI, meaning that if you are charged with DUI, you could also be charged with DUAC.
Many people wonder if it is better to plead guilty to DUAC than DUI in South Carolina. The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
DUAC is a charge that applies when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .08% but below .10%. In South Carolina, a first-time DUAC offense carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $400, and a six-month license suspension. Subsequent offenses carry steeper penalties.
DUI, on the other hand, is a charge that applies when a driver’s BAC is .08% or higher, or if the driver is under the influence of alcohol to the extent that their faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. A first-time DUI offense in South Carolina carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a six-month license suspension. Subsequent offenses carry steeper penalties.
While the penalties for a DUAC conviction may be less severe than those for a DUI conviction, pleading guilty to either charge can have serious consequences. A conviction for either offense will result in a criminal record that can impact your ability to find employment, obtain housing, and even get a loan.
It is important to note that pleading guilty to either DUAC or DUI is not your only option. There may be defenses available to you, depending on the specifics of your case. An experienced DUI accident attorney can review the evidence against you and advise you on the best course of action.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUAC or DUI in South Carolina, it is crucial that you seek the advice of a qualified DUI attorney. An experienced DUI accident lawyer can help you understand your options, protect your rights, and work to minimize the impact of the charges against you.
At Kent Law Firm, LLC, our experienced DUI defense lawyers have successfully defended clients charged with DUAC and DUI in South Carolina. Call us immediately for strong and effective legal assistance in your DUI or DUAC case.
Defenses for DUAC in South Carolina
If you have been charged with DUAC in South Carolina, several defenses may be available to you.
- Challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test: Breathalyzer and blood tests are not infallible and can produce false results. You may be able to challenge the accuracy of the test and have the results thrown out.
- Challenging the legality of the stop: The police must have a valid reason for pulling you over. If they did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion, the stop may have been illegal, and any evidence gathered during the stop may be inadmissible.
- Challenging the chain of custody of the blood sample: If your BAC was determined by a blood test, the prosecution must establish a chain of custody from the time the blood was drawn to the time it was analyzed. If the chain of custody is broken, the results of the test may be inadmissible.
- Challenging the field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test, are subjective and can be influenced by factors other than intoxication, such as fatigue, nervousness, or medical conditions.
Reliable DUI Defense Lawyer
At the Kent Law Firm, LLC, we understand the nuances of DUI and DUAC charges and can help you build a strong defense. Our goal is to help you minimize the penalties you face and protect your rights.
DUI and DUAC are serious charges in South Carolina, and the penalties can be steep. It is important to understand the difference between these charges and what your options are. If you have been charged with DUI or DUAC, you need to speak to an experienced lawyer for DUI as soon as possible. At the Kent Law Firm, LLC, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.