Why fight the DUI charge? Every person facing a DUI charge has individual reasons that might cause them to want or need to fight the charge. Often it is the feeling of outrage for being arrested when they had consumed alcohol responsibly, and were not impaired. Sometimes it is out of the fear of losing a job, or driver’s license. The list of potential collateral consequences of a conviction is infinite. Today the direct consequences of a conviction are more severe than they have ever been in South Carolina. The DUI law underwent a significant change effective February 10, 2009. Anyone convicted of DUI prior to that date faced the exact same consequences no matter what the evidence showed. In all first offence DUI cases the penalty exposure was a fine of $997 or a jail sentence of a minimum of 48 hours up to a maximum of 30 days.
Effective February 10, 2009 the penalty range was expanded to provide for a jail sentence of a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 90 days in the case of a DUI or DUAC first offence where the BAC is a .16 or greater. Now the evidence of blood alcohol concentration proven in a case will determine the penalty you face. My DUI Penalty Chart lists the direct sentencing consequences for those convicted of DUI in South Carolina. These penalties are not just attention grabbing, they are life changing. Given this reality, for most, the question is not why fight, but why not fight. The alternative, a guilty plea with all of the attendant consequences, is rarely an acceptable option.
How do you fight the charge? The most important role you play in the fight is selecting the right lawyer. The lawyer’s preparation can’t start with your case. An effective DUI Defense lawyer has to understand the evidence used to prosecute DUI cases. The best DUI Defense lawyers know the science and law of field testing, breath testing, blood testing, and urine testing.
The opinion of impairment, in most cases, is formed after a roadside investigation. Your lawyer has to know how to investigate this important part of the investigation. Your lawyer must know the history, evolution and standards that apply to proper administration and interpretation field sobriety tests. DUI trial lawyer Drew Carroll has completed the same training program on the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that DUI enforcement officers are required to complete.
Given the significance placed on the BAC and the common use of breath-test, often referred to as breathalyzer, results to establish the same, the defense must be prepared and capable of effectively attacking the breath-test/breathalyzer result. The defense lawyer must have a sound understanding of the science of breath-testing and analytical process employed by the Datamaster machine. Drew Carroll has both been trained and trained other defense lawyers on the science of breath-testing and the operation of the DataMaster/breathalyzer. He is one a very small class of lawyers to have completed the manufacture’s training course on the DataMaster DMT and the BAC DataMaster machines.
In addition to breath-test training and experience, Drew has also received extensive training on challenging blood and urine test result evidence in DUI cases. He has successfully defended cases involving every type of scientific evidence used to prosecute DUI cases.