Arrests for driving under the influence continue to be on the rise in Myrtle Beach. A vacation destination to over 14 million tourists annually, the Grand Strand has hundreds of bars and thousands of restaurants serving alcohol. As a result, the police place a great deal of energy and resources on arresting intoxicated drivers.What Happens if I am Charged With a DUI?
There are two parts to most DUI arrests. The first part centers around implied consent. South Carolina Code Section 56-5-2950 states that drivers give implied consent to chemical test for the content of alcohol or drugs by means of their breath, blood or urine if arrested for an act alleged to have been committed while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Accordingly, the refusal to submit to the Datamaster breath test will result in a license suspension. This suspension can range from 6 months to 15 months. The length of the suspension depends on whether you have any prior DUI charges in the past 10 years. If you choose to blow, your license can only be suspended if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .15%.Administrative Hearing
If you did not submit to the breath test or if you blew over a .15%, you still may be able to get your driving privileges reinstated. On the back of the suspension form, you can request an administrative hearing by sending the form back with the $200 fee. Once you request a hearing, you can apply for a temporary alcohol license by paying a fee of $100 to the DMV. Your suspension ends if you are successful before the judge at the hearing. If not, you still have the option of a route-restricted license, which allows you to drive to work and school.Criminal Offense - DUI
The second part of the arrest is the substantive offense. In South Carolina, the standard for guilt and innocence is whether you are materially and appreciably impaired. If found guilty of DUI, the State of South Carolina takes into account several factors with regard to sentencing. First, it looks back 10 years on your driving history to see if you have a prior DUI. The State also takes into account your BAC. The penalties are more severe if you blew over .15%.What to do if Charged with DUI?
First, simply put, do not take the breath test unless you have not consumed a sip of alcohol. Next, contact a local DUI attorney immediately. The laws are complex and too complicated for a non-attorney to navigate. In addition, the State of South Carolina has committed immense resources to your prosecution and you need an advocate on your side. If you are charged with DUI, call Will Parker Law today at (843) 357-4111. If after hours, do not hesitate to call my cell at (843) 999-2907.