6 Things You should Know About DUI Accidents - Green Law Firm

6 Things You should Know About DUI Accidents

6 Things You Should Know About DUI Accidents

Getting a DUI is a serious business! Anyone who has ever gotten one will tell you the same thing — a DUI (short for “driving under the influence”) charge is no joke and can seriously affect your quality of life. It will cost you time, money, your mobility plus be emotionally really difficult.
Over 14,000 people in South Carolina alone will get arrested for a DUI each year. At any given time, 1.6 percent of people have reported getting behind the wheel after knowingly drinking too much within the last 30 days!
So here’s the real, honest truth. What you need to know about DUI’s. Getting them, how “serious” it is and what you need to know about the process.

1. The Only Way to Avoid a DUI… Is Not To Drive Drunk.
Yes, this is obvious. But it’s also essential. Do you know what the legal limit is for alcohol consumption behind the wheel in your state? In South Carolina, you can get a DUI for driving with a .08 percent or higher blood-alcohol level.  Note: It doesn’t actually matter if your driving is impaired; if you’re pulled over, and your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you’re getting a DUI!

Different people get drunk quicker than others. How alcohol affects you is based on your size, weight, what food has been consumed around the time drinking has occurred, a person’s age, sex and how fast they consumed alcohol.

Tip: Be proactive and know the limits of your body!

 

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2. If you get pulled over you WILL get a field test on the spot!
In South Carolina, police officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time you are pulled over. Note: You can’t legally refuse a BAC test in the field without repercussions; South Carolina  law states that, simply by driving a vehicle, you have given legal consent to submit to a chemical BAC test!

If you refuse your blood or breathalyzer test in the field you will  have your license suspended. If this is your first offense, the consequence is a 6-month license suspension. For second and third offense, the penalty is a 9-month suspension.

Tip: Don’t argue. Don’t resist testing or your arrest. How you act when you are pulled over does make a difference!

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3.The more offenses you have, the more likely you’ll go to jail….
In South Carolina, whether or not you will do jail is dependent on your previous DUI history. If this is your first offense, there is no required minimum jail term after your arrest. If this is your second offense, it is required you spend five days in jail;  for a third offense, it is a required 60 days!

Once you are arrested, and sober, you will probably be released. At this time, you will probably be given a ticket or summons that orders you appear in court to face your charges. This will be your arraignment. At your arraignment, you will have the opportunity to plead not guilty or not guilty.

4. You’ve got options, but not a lot.
Your first inclination may be to “tone down” how severe your actions are. Unfortunately, in South Carolina, you can’t plead your DUI down to a reckless endangerment charge. Reckless endangerment charges usually carry less significance than other types of charges. In some states, you can plead down to a “wet reckless” charge.  This is a form of reckless endangerment charge that specifically applies to being intoxicated during the act.

If this is your first DUI offense, your charge will probably be a misdemeanor and not a felony. Although, if your situation is really bad, it can be. For example, if you severely injure or kill someone while driving drunk. Or, if your BAC was very high or you were driving with a previously restricted, suspended or revoked license.

This may sound simple, but it is worth stating very clearly. While many first-time DUI’s are pretty standard, the stake of what’s on the line in your life for a second or third offense skyrockets!  After your first offense, you will probably get points added to your license and your auto insurance rates will skyrocket. You may incur fines and fees and be put on parole or “probation.”  There’s a good chance you will lose your license entirely.

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After your first DUI you will probably be required to go through treatment of some kind, and become more educated as to drinking and the effects of alcohol on your driving. Your first inclination may be to shrug this off and just ignore it all… Understand that having multiple DUI’s WILL change your life in a negative way. Jail. Fines. The inability to drive and get around by yourself. Not to mention that each time you get behind the wheel intoxicated you may seriously injure or, at worst, take another’s life!

In South Carolina, your DUI convictions stay on your record, and can, therefore, be counted against you,  for ten years.

5.  If You Get a DUI, You REALLY need a drunk driving attorney.

Straight talk here, most people plead guilty to their DUI case. It’s common and pretty standard for first-time offenders. The higher your BAC percent, the more likely you will receive a conviction. It is noted that the chances of conviction are approximately 90 percent; if your BAC is .20, or greater than your chances of conviction are about 100 percent.

This is where you want to have an experienced DUI attorney working for you. The greater the “zone of uncertainty” is regarding your case, the more important it is that you have aggressive and reliable representation. Most states provide a public defender; there’s a good chance this individual will be overworked, overwhelmed with a large caseload and underpaid. They may offer you advice that makes your case as efficient for them as possible. This advice may not be the best for you!

Going through a DUI is stressful and emotional. You may not understand the severity of your circumstances! While many DUI cases are routine, your license, money, and livelihood may be severely affected. Hiring an experienced attorney to represent you is your best weapon!

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6. Make the first time the LAST time.

This may sound simple, but it is worth stating very clearly. While many first-time DUI’s are pretty standard, the stake of what’s on the line in your life for a second or third offense skyrockets! After your first offense, you will probably get points added to your license and your auto insurance rates will skyrocket. You may incur fines and fees and be put on parole or “probation.” There’s a good chance you will lose your license entirely.

After your first DUI you will probably be required to go through treatment of some kind, and become more educated as to drinking and the effects of alcohol on your driving. Your first inclination may be to shrug this off and just ignore it all… Understand that having multiple DUI’s WILL change your life in a negative way. Jail. Fines. The inability to drive and get around by yourself. Not to mention that each time you get behind the wheel intoxicated you may seriously injure or, at worst, take another’s life!

In South Carolina, your DUI convictions stay on your record, and can, therefore, be counted against you, for ten years.

 

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