Receiving a DUI conviction is a serious matter and can have lasting effects on your life. From misdemeanor to felony, the aftermath can get messy for you and those around you. At Deaton Law, it is a priority to protect you and your loved ones from any hardship you may face from a criminal conviction. With flexibility and creative strategizing, our DUI lawyer can help you through your struggle with a criminal charge.

In this article, you will learn about what you are up against when facing a DUI charge, as well as steps you may want to take that will help you improve your situation. You can work for a brighter future if you act now.

The DUI Charge in South Carolina Defined

A DUI charge, also known as “drunk driving,” means that you were found to be capable of operating (or were operating) a vehicle on public property while your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the state limit. This limit ranges from .08 to .10. This means that you can also be arrested for a DUI if you are drunk and sitting in your vehicle on the side of the road with the motor off.

How Many Drinks Can I Have Without Getting Drunk?

It all depends on how your body processes alcohol. If you have had a drink and not eaten dinner, for example, you may find that you feel drunker faster. One drink is considered to be 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine. But a six-foot-tall, 210-pound man may be able to drink more than a petite woman before he can be considered legally drunk. There is no end-all-be-all rule for how many drinks are safe to have before driving. It is always a good idea to let someone who hasn’t been drinking drive you home as opposed to taking a chance on your metabolism.

The Consequences of Receiving a DUI Conviction in South Carolina

Being convicted with a DUI has plenty of consequences–enough to make you think twice before getting behind the wheel. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Jail and Fines: In South Carolina, a DUI conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and the imposition of substantial fines. You will also pay to have your vehicle towed, not to mention the spike in your insurance premiums.
  • Loss of License: Your license can be suspended or revoked with a DUI conviction. Not only will you have a hard time getting around, but you will be requiring the help of those around you to adjust their schedules to drive you.
  • Criminal Record: A DUI conviction can stay on your record for up to 10 years following the incident. This record is visible to employers, landlords, and more.
  • Employment: Many employers automatically end the employment of an employee convicted for a criminal offense. Most employers have zero-tolerance policies for drug-related convictions. A potential employer can also access your criminal record and refuse to hire you based on the severity of the conviction.
  • Injury: You could seriously injure or kill someone if you hit them or their vehicle. The psychological guilt of this happening could likely haunt you for a lifetime.
  • Publicity: A DUI arrest is a public matter. Not only will your community find out, but your family members will probably have a rough time dealing with the ramifications of seeing you convicted.
  • Emotionally: It will be difficult for your loved ones to trust you again when you’ve made the dangerous decision to drink and drive.

What Can I Do to Fix It?

A DUI conviction is serious, but you should not lose hope. If you are seeking solutions, here are a few to help you through this challenging time:

  • Hire a DUI defense lawyer: If you have recently been arrested for a DUI, you need to contact an attorney at Deaton Law today. This serious matter could be resolved much more easily with the help of a professional. If you are concerned about attorney fees, call for a free consultation and you will be able to find the option and the payment plan that work best for you. The most important thing is that you do not attempt to fight your charges alone. With the help of a trained professional, you can lessen the long-term ramifications of a DUI conviction far more successfully than if you were to attempt fighting the charges on your own.
  • Get to rehabilitation: If you have had more than one DUI conviction, it is important that you seek help. If you have a problem with substance abuse, you will save (money, time, lives) by going to rehabilitation and getting clean. By taking the initiative to get better, you will also have a better chance of lessening your sentence. You will show that you want to improve and are aware of the mistake you have made.
  • Do not repeat: The statistics for repeat DUI offenders are astounding. Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates “about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.” Even just one more attempt could prove fatal.

All in all, a DUI is a crime with a lot of negative consequences attached to it: legal ramifications, long-term life alterations, dangerous and deathly outcomes. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call Deaton Law right away. Your Charleston DUI attorney will protect and fight for your rights. The sooner you attempt to ameliorate the situation, the sooner you can build a new life of safety and responsibility for the future.