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Know the drunk driving laws in South Carolina

Drunk and drugged driving are illegal in South Carolina. If you are pulled over after you have been drinking or using drugs, there is a good chance that you will face criminal charges for those actions. State statutes provide rules for testing for alcohol, limits for the test results and the penalties that you will face if you are convicted.

One important law that every driver should know about is the Implied Consent law. This law means that if you are asked to submit to a breath, urine or blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration, the fact that you have a driver's license means that you have already consented to the test. Failing to agree to take the test when you are asked could mean that you face a license suspension of six months on a first offense or nine months if the refusal comes within a decade of a previous alcohol-related conviction or suspension.

Another point to know is that the universal BAC limit of .08 percent isn't so universal. That BAC is the legal limit for drivers with a normal driver's license who are 21 years old or older. Drivers who are under 21 have a BAC limit of .02 percent. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of .04 percent if they are driving a commercial vehicle.

The first three offenses of drunk driving that a person has in South Carolina are considered misdemeanor charges. A fourth drunk driving offense is considered a felony charge. At each level, the penalties are dependent upon the BAC at the time of the offense.

Each point in a DUI case is a point that could possibly be contested as part of your defense. Knowing how to present a defense and what points to question can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

Source: FindLaw, "What Are the South Carolina DUI Laws?," accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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