In South Carolina and the rest of the United States, it’s illegal to drink and drive. Individuals with blood alcohol contents beyond the legal limits who are found operating motor vehicles may face fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges.
Drunk driving can be deadly. In 2012, 357 people died on South Carolina roadways as a result of alcohol-related collisions.
The legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers over age 21 in South Carolina is .08%. For commercial drivers operating work vehicles, the limit is .04%. For individuals younger than 21, the legal blood alcohol limit is .02%.
How is Blood Alcohol Content Calculated?
A person’s blood alcohol content is a measurement of the percentage of alcohol that has been absorbed into his or her bloodstream. There are four factors that determine an individual’s blood alcohol limit:
- Weight. Heavier individuals absorb alcohol more slowly than lighter individuals, which means it takes a longer time for their blood alcohol content to rise.
- Sex. Women absorb alcohol more quickly than men due to two factors:
- The average woman is lighter than the average man.
- Women have less ADH in their stomachs. ADH is the enzyme that helps the body metabolize alcohol.
- The speed at which the individual consumed alcohol.
- Food eaten while the individual consumed alcohol.
DUI vs. DUAC in South Carolina
In South Carolina, intoxicated drivers can be charged with a DUI, which is driving under the influence, or a DUAC, which is driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration. Title 56 of the South Carolina Code of Laws outlines the penalties for both of these offenses.
A driver can be charged with a DUI if he or she was found to be significantly impaired by alcohol or other drugs while operating a motor vehicle. Any driver who is found showing signs of intoxication such as poor control of his or her vehicle, failing a sobriety test, or showing signs such as slurred speech or poor coordination may be charged with a DUI. Individuals who are proven through a breath or blood test to have a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher may also be charged with a DUI.
An individual does not have to show signs of intoxication to be charged with a DUAC. As long as law enforcement can prove that his or her blood alcohol content is beyond the legal limit, he or she may be charged with this offense.
The penalties for a DUI and a DUAC in South Carolina are almost identical, and neither can be expunged from an individual’s criminal record. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or a DUAC, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you’ve been charged with a DUI or a DUAC, be proactive and contact the McGrath Law Firm at 843-606-2755 today. Our firm proudly serves individuals in the Mt. Pleasant area and will give your case the dedication it deserves.