Experienced DUI Defense Lawyers in Pickens, SC Provide Strong Counsel
Firm represents motorists charged with drunk driving offenses
Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. in Pickens defends South Carolina residents who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We understand the prejudicial flaws that can occur during the law enforcement and testing processes. Whatever the circumstances are in your case, our skillful litigators will work diligently to help you avoid unjust punishment.
South Carolina laws governing blood-alcohol levels
A motorist 21 years of age or older is considered legally under the influence if their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent higher. Penalties get tougher for drivers whose BAC is at least .10 percent, and even harsher when the BAC result is .16 percent or higher. There can be situations where the evidence indicates that someone is under the influence of alcohol even if the breathalyzer result is between .05 and .08 percent. You can still be charged with DUI in these circumstances. Drivers under 21 are subject to the state’s “zero tolerance” law, meaning that a young motorist is considered legally impaired if their BAC is .02 or higher. Under this rule, even one drink could trigger a DUI charge. A stricter standard (.04 percent) also exists for the drivers of commercial vehicles. You can count on us to challenge evidence that is not supported by the facts or was collected improperly.
Penalties for first, second and third DUI convictions
If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, several factors can influence the type of sentence you receive, including your BAC and whether an accident occurred while you were allegedly driving drunk. Penalties also increase with subsequent convictions:
- First offense — A DUI conviction without aggravating circumstances for someone who has not been guilty of the same offense in the previous 10 years carries a fine of up to $400 and a potential jail term running from 48 hours to 90 days. Someone over 21 will also have their driver’s license suspended for six months.
- Second offense — Repeat DUI offenders are required to spend at least five days behind bars, and the incarceration could last much longer than that. License suspensions for second offenses are longer, and the fine is between $2,100 and $5,100.
- Third and subsequent offenses — If you’ve been found guilty of a third DUI in a 10-year period, the minimum incarceration is 60 days. Your fine would range between $3,800 and $6,300 while your license suspension would be two years. Other penalties, such as the seizure of your vehicle, could also be imposed. Subsequent convictions will put you behind bars for at least a year.
Regardless of whether this is your first DUI arrest or you face enhanced multiple offender sanctions, our firm will stand up for your rights in pursuit of a fair result.
How test refusal leads to license suspension under the implied consent rule
Some people who are unsure about whether they are sober behind the wheel presume that they can avoid penalties if they avoid taking a breathalyzer test. This is not the case. Under the doctrine of implied consent, driving on a South Carolina road means that you must submit to a legally authorized sobriety test or face automatic punishment if you refuse. An initial refusal carries a six-month driver’s license suspension. This is an administrative sanction, not a criminal charge, so you do not have the ability to defend yourself in court.
Contact a proven South Carolina DUI defense lawyer for a confidential consultation
Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. advocates on behalf of South Carolina residents who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our office is in Pickens, and we serve clients in Greenville, Easley, Clemson and other area locations. You can set up a confidential consultation by calling 864-668-1013 or contacting us online.