Driving Under Influence (DUI)) and Driving While Impaired (DWI) are serious offenses under the Federal Laws of the United States. In South Carolina, the law has set five levels of DUI misdemeanors.
- Level 1 is the most severe. Its punishment is a fine not exceeding $4,000 and a jail term of 30 days and two years.
- Level 2 attracts a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence of seven days to one year. For level 1 and 2 offenses, the judge can’t suspend the particular minimum sentence.
- Level 3 is punishable by a jail sentence of between 72 hours and six months as well as a fine up to $1,000. Terms of suspension of the judgment are that the offender spends a minimum of 72 hours in jail, offers community service for 72 hours or does not drive for 90 days.
- Level 4 offenders are subject to a penalty of $500 and a sentence of between 48 hours and 120 days. The judge can suspend it after 48 hours in jail, a similar period of community service or the driver does not operate an automobile for 60 days.
- Level 5 culprits serve an imprisonment term of 24 hours to 30 days and a $200 fine. For a judge to suspend the sentence, the driver must stay in jail for 24 hours, work in community service for 24 hours or not drive for 30 days.
Drunk driving charges become more severe for habitual offenders as the number of convictions increase. If you have had three convictions within the past seven years, the fourth one can lead to a jail sentence of at least one year, and the judge cannot suspend it. While serving the term, you must enroll in a substance abuse program.
If you are driving while intoxicated and an officer pulls you over, do not attempt to escape. Find a safe place and be gentle. If you have to take the roadside breathing test, oblige. Refusing to blow the Breathalyzer can lead to the suspension of your license. Next, call an attorney. He or she will analyze the evidence and devise a defense.
A DUI charge can adversely affect your life. A conviction can halt your dreams if you have to serve a jail term. You lose money in fines, your reputation, and driving privileges. You also lose wages for the time you are in prison. To avoid such unpleasant experiences, hire a lawyer who understands DUI laws comprehensively. An experienced attorney can defend you until the court dismisses the case or minimizes the corresponding penalties.