Driving With an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration

What is the difference between DUI & DUAC in Lexington, SC?

In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by the effects of alcohol and/or drugs. This means that you could be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if it is determined that any measureable amount of alcohol or drugs has materially and appreciably impaired your ability to drive—even though the standard legal limit is .08% or greater. When defining the crime of driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC), however, the bounds are a little clearer. S.C. Code §56-5-2933 states that one could be charged with DUAC if they have operated a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.

It does not need to be proven that the offender's ability to drive has been impaired by the effects of alcohol in order to charge them with DUAC. Rather, the crime focuses on the fact that they made the decision to drive with a BAC that met or exceeded the legal limit of .08%. For this reason, there are numerous requirements that must be specifically established in a DUAC case. Since you would be entitled to a jury trial after being arrested for this crime, you would have the opportunity to challenge the following factors:

  • Were you lawfully arrested or detained?
  • How much time elapsed between your arrest and BAC testing?
  • Were you verbally informed of your implied consent rights?
  • Did you voluntarily consent to BAC testing?
  • Was the test administrator adequately qualified?
  • Was the testing equipment in proper working condition?
  • Did you BAC meet or exceed the legal limit?
  • Were you in physical control of a motor vehicle?

Penalties for a First, Second, Third or Fourth DUAC Conviction

Whether you have been charged with a first, second, third or fourth DUAC offense, you could be facing serious legal consequences. The penalties will be determined by the severity of your BAC at the time of your arrest, so you could even face enhanced sentencing and fines for a first offense if your BAC was measured at .10% or greater. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you discuss your case with a Lexington criminal lawyer from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC if you have been charged with this crime. In doing so, you may be able to successfully avoid the following penalties:

First DUAC Offense

  • BAC of .10% or Less: 48 hours to 30 days in jail and $400 in fines
  • BAC of .10%–.16%: 72 hours to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines
  • BAC of .16% or Greater: 30 to 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines

Second DUAC Offense

  • BAC of .10% or Less: 5 days to 1 year in jail and $2,100 in fines
  • BAC of .10%–.16%: 30 days to 2 years in jail and $2,500 in fines
  • BAC of .16% or Greater: 90 days to 3 years in jail and $3,500 in fines

Third DUAC Offense

  • BAC of .10% or Less: 60 days to 3 years in jail and $3,800 in fines
  • BAC of .10%–.16%: 90 days to 4 years in jail and $5,000 in fines
  • BAC of .16% or Greater: 6 months to 5 years in jail and $7,500 in fines

Fourth DUAC Offense

  • BAC of .10% or Less: 1 year to 5 years in jail
  • BAC of .10%–.16%: 2 years to 6 years in jail
  • BAC of .16% or Greater: 3 years to 7 years in jail

Charged with DUAC? Turn to a Lexington criminal attorney for help.

If you were recently arrested and charged with DUAC in South Carolina, you could be facing hard time behind bars—especially if you have previously been convicted of the same offense and/or your blood-alcohol concentration was measured at .10% or greater. For this reason, you should waste no time in contacting a Lexington criminal attorney from the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. Not only can we offer you the experienced guidance that you will need to successfully navigate your way through the criminal process, but we can provide you with the aggressive defense that you deserve. All you have to do is call our office at (888) 301-6004 to take advantage of a free initial consultation. If you would prefer to reach us online, you can also fill out a complimentary case evaluation form.

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