What Is the Difference Between DUI and DUAC?

In the state of South Carolina, it is illegal to drive while impaired by the effects of alcohol or drugs. While the official legal limit is upheld at .08%, you could still be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if any measureable amount of alcohol has impaired your ability to safely operate a vehicle. At the end of the day, it is up to a law enforcement officer to decide whether or not you are too drunk to drive—even if your blood-alcohol concentration is below the legal limit. In contrast, the crime of driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC) requires a law enforcement officer to provide sufficient proof that a driver has gotten behind the wheel with a BAC of .08% or greater.

Rather than focusing on the matter of whether or not alcohol has impaired a person's ability to drive, as is the case for DUI, the burden of proof for DUAC is only that the driver has made the decision to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit. While the crimes are different in the eyes of the law, they carry virtually the same legal penalties. Neither DUI nor DUAC is eligible for expungement, the jail time and fines that are imposed for DUI and DUAC are the same, and both crimes will generally have the same impact on one's criminal record; however, the severity of these penalties will ultimately depend on how intoxicated the driver was at the time of their arrest.

For example, you could be sentenced to 48 hours to 30 days in jail and asked to pay a $400 fine if you were arrested for driving with a BAC of .10% or less, while driving with a BAC of .10%-.16% could result in 72 hours to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine—both for a first-time offense. The higher your blood-alcohol concentration and the more DUI or DUAC convictions you have on your record, the greater the penalties. For this reason, it is recommended that you get in touch with a Lexington criminal lawyer from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC if you were recently arrested for DUI or DUAC in South Carolina. Apart from jail time and fines, you could also be facing a permanent mark on your record.

If you are interested in discussing your case with a Lexington DUI defense attorney from our firm, call our office today at (888) 301-6004 for a free initial consultation. We have live operators standing by. You can also submit a free case evaluation form online by clicking here.

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