DUI Faq's

Do I have a right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests?
Every person under investigation for DUI has the right to refuse to perform any tests requested by the investigating officer.

If I’m arrested for DUI, will my license be suspended?
If you are arrested for DUI, your privilege to drive may be suspended only if you refuse to take the breath test, or blow a 0.15 or higher on the breath test.

If my license is suspended for a DUI arrest, can I get a temporary driving privilege?
Anyone charged with DUI, who also suffers an administrative license suspension is eligible for a Temporary Alcohol Restricted License if you request an administrative hearing within 30 days of the arrest.  If such a hearing is not requested, you may still be eligible for a Route Restricted Driver’s License if it is your first offense and you have enrolled in ADSAP.

Will my DUI arrest show up on a background check?
If you were arrested for DUI (or any other criminal charge), an arrest record was created for that charge when you were booked into the detention center.

Can I get a DUI conviction expunged from my record?
A DUI and other driving offenses are not expungeable under our current law.  However, if the DUI is dismissed (i.e. no conviction), the charge will be automatically expunged.

If I know I’m guilty, do I need a lawyer for my DUI case?
Every case is different, and every case has unique factual and legal issues involved.  Without consulting with a lawyer, you may not know what defenses are available to you and may miss an opportunity to have the charge resolved favorably.

Can I be charged with DUI on a bicycle, golf cart, or moped?
In order to convict a person for DUI, the State must prove that you were driving a motor vehicle while your faculties to drive were materially and appreciably impaired.  Only a lawyer can tell you if a specific mode of transportation is considered a “motor vehicle”.

Do I need to get an ignition interlock device (IID) if I’m arrested or convicted of DUI?
If you are charged or convicted of DUI, you can cut short your license suspension by enrolling in the IID program.  Some DUI convictions also make an IID mandatory.

If this is my 3rd DUI, and the officer only charged me with DUI 1st, can he upgrade my charge to a 3rd offense?
Under the current DUI law, for a prior DUI conviction to enhance a current charge, it must have occurred within the last 10 years.  In the event you have multiple DUI’s within a 10 year period, and the officer still charged you with DUI 1st offense, there is a chance the charge is enhanced to the appropriate level based on prior convictions.

Can I be arrested for DUI for taking prescription medications?
SC DUI law allows for a DUI charge based on impairment from alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.  This includes prescription medication.  However, in these cases, it is important to consult with a DUI lawyer as most prescription medications so not “impair” you as defined in the DUI law.

If I get arrested for DUI, but can’t meet with a lawyer right away, is there anything I should be doing immediately to protect myself?
If you received a Notice of Suspension as a result of your DUI arrest, you should request an administrative hearing challenging that suspension as soon as possible.  Requesting that hearing must be done within 30 days of the arrest, and will make you eligible for a temporary driving privilege.

If I get arrested for DUI, will my work find out about it?
Not necessarily.  Every job is different, and some require a duty to report arrests and/or convictions.  This is especially true if your job requires a special kind of driving privilege or security clearance.  It is important to speak with a DUI lawyer about your specific employment to determine what, if anything, you are required to disclose to your employer. 

How long does it usually take to get a DUI charge resolved?
It generally takes around 6 months for a DUI charge to be resolved.  This time can be shortened or lengthened depending on the individual facts of the case and whether a trial is necessary.

If I have a prior DUI from another state, can that be used against me in the prosecution of my SC DUI?
If the prior DUI conviction was within the last 10 years, it can be used to enhance a new DUI charge to a 2nd or subsequent offense regardless of what state your prior conviction occurred in.

I got a DUI while I was visiting SC.  Am I required to return for court?
If you retain a lawyer to represent you, you will not be required to appear at any preliminary hearings or court appearances.  Your presence will only be required if the case goes to trial.

If I have an out of state driver’s license, will a SC DUI suspend my license?
For out of state drivers, it is your privilege to drive in SC that is suspended.  SC has no jurisdiction to suspend your out of state license.  However, if your home state finds out about the arrest and/or conviction, they may impose their own suspension on your license.

If I’m arrested for DUI, what can I do during my case to help achieve a favorable resolution?
There are many things you can do to help your case, including obtaining alcohol counseling, having an IID installed on your car, and/or performing community service.  However, it is important to consult with a DUI lawyer before doing anything, as it may be advantageous to wait before doing anything until you know more about your case.

If I refused to take a breath test, but the officer didn’t take my license, am I still suspended?
The suspension only occurs if you are given a Notice of Suspension by the breath test operator, or if a Notice of Suspension is turned into the DMV.  It is important to call the DMV, or a DUI lawyer before driving to confirm the status of your license as driving while under suspension for DUI is a criminal offense.

Can I be charged with DUI for sitting in a parked car?
In order to convict someone of DUI, the State must prove that you were actually “driving” your car.  This requires more than merely sitting in a parked car.  However, you may still be arrested for DUI in a parked car if there is other evidence that you were recently driving.

What is the difference between DUI and DUAC?
DUI requires evidence of impairment of your faculties to drive.  DUAC merely requires proof that you were driving with a BAC above 0.08.  However, both carry the same consequences if convicted.

How can I prove I am innocent of DUI?
If you have not been drinking or taking any drugs or medication, the easiest way to prove innocence is by taking a breath and/or urine test when requested by the arresting officer.  However, it is not necessarily illegal to drive after consuming alcohol and/or medication unless the State can prove you were impaired.  In the event you’re arrested for DUI after consuming alcohol and/or medication, the burden is on the State to prove impairment.  The best thing to do is provide as little evidence as possible by politely refusing to participate in field sobriety tests and/or a breath test.

How can I beat a DUI case when the arresting officer believes I was drunk?
In SC, DUI law requires the arresting officer to video record the entire investigation.  This allows for a DUI lawyer to review those videos to determine if the officer was correct in his belief.  Even if the video shows evidence of impairment, there may still be other issues that can lead to a favorable resolution of the charge.