Swilley Law Firm, LLC, will defend you in any criminal case in the state of South Carolina.
Swilley Law Firm, LLC, will defend you in any criminal case in the state of South Carolina.
Protecting Your Rights

Is proof of poor driving necessary for a DUI in South Carolina?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | Dui Defense |

Some people facing driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in South Carolina may feel like the situation is quite unfair. They may question whether a breath test was accurate and whether police officers had a legal justification for pulling them over in the first place.

Many people facing South Carolina DUI charges point to the fact that their driving was perfectly safe and question whether that may eliminate their risk of a conviction. Contrary to what people sometimes believe about South Carolina DUI charges, neither police officers nor prosecutors necessarily need to show that someone demonstrated impaired ability at the wheel in order to secure a conviction.

Being over the legal limit is cause for charges

The law in South Carolina prohibits driving while impaired and also after having too much to drink, regardless of its effect on someone’s driving ability. The state does not need to prove that someone had diminished ability at the wheel to convict them of a DUI offense.

Instead, it is only necessary to establish that they were over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit for someone’s BAC is a per se law. It is a legal violation to be over the established limit for BAC regardless of whether being over the limit had any noticeable impact on an individual’s driving abilities.

For most drivers in South Carolina, the current BAC limit is 0.08%. Anyone who has test results over that level might be at risk of criminal prosecution. There are different BAC limits that apply to other groups of drivers. Those operating commercial vehicles, including semi-trucks and buses, are subject to a BAC limit of 0.04%. A test result higher than that could lead to prosecution.

Underage drivers are subject to the strictest BAC limits enforced in South Carolina. If they have a BAC of 0.02% or higher, they could be at risk of criminal charges. However, scenarios involving allegations of a technical DUI offense based on blood alcohol levels could present numerous opportunities for defense strategies, including raising questions about the accuracy of breath test results given someone’s performance at the wheel.

Understanding the basic laws governing impaired driving offenses in South Carolina may help people determine the best way to respond to a recent arrest.