When you’re charged criminally with a driving offense like DWI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in South Carolina, it’s important to know how the laws of driving apply to you. You should consult with an experienced criminal lawyer immediately after being charged to make sure that your rights will be protected. In some cases, there may be special circumstances that can keep you out of prison if you plead guilty, but this is rare.
The laws of driving strictly apply to all drivers, and not just to those accused of DWI or driving under the influence. For example, a person convicted of assault, battery, domestic violence, robbery, drug abuse, burglary, embezzlement, solicitation, or murder is required by law to undergo a chemical testing administered by a state laboratory no matter where the evidence was allegedly obtained. If the evidence found in the blood, urine or breathalyzer tests is positive, the offender is immediately convicted of the crime. On February 1, this change becomes a law in South Carolina.
It’s possible for a driver to be accused of driving under the influence even if they aren’t under the influence at the time of their arrest. This is known as a “positive field result”, and it’s considered significantly less persuasive evidence than the breathalyzer or blood alcohol tests. Positive results on the breathalyzer and blood test don’t necessarily mean the driver is guilty of DWI charges, though. Instead, a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is based on the presence of one or more symptoms that indicate the presence of intoxication.
Other states have something known as a “zero tolerance policy” for drunk driving, meaning that a lower limit of drunk driving is regarded as having the same effect as driving with a certain level of alcohol. In these cases, drivers are presumed guilty until proven innocent. Because drunk driving laws can be very subjective and varies from state to state, it is important to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney before being charged with a driving offense. DWI charges are punished more severely than a DUI, and penalties for repeat offenses can lead to additional time in jail and hefty fines. A skilled South Carolina DUI defense attorney can evaluate the evidence against you and advise you on your legal rights and options.
Although it is illegal to operate a vehicle when you have any amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, most states use a “probationary” period before they assume guilt. For example, some states use a 90-day period before an individual can obtain a driver’s license after a DUI conviction. Other states use a one-year probationary period. The number of days that states use to determine whether or not a driver is guilty of DUI varies, so consulting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is highly recommended before being charged with a DUI offense.
The laws of driving in the U.S. can be very complex and many aspects of the law were created out of the necessity of creating roads safe for all drivers. For example, one of the most important aspects of the law is establishing a legal limit on the amount of alcohol in a driver can have. This legal limit is based upon the chemical composition of the person’s blood as well as information provided by the BAC test.