A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Content (DUAC) arrest can have a serious, far-reaching, and lasting impact on your life and the lives of those closet to you. One of the first thoughts of those charged with DUI or DUAC is often focused on the suspension of the accused’s driving privileges.
Charleston DUI Attorneys
A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Content (DUAC) arrest can have a serious, far-reaching, and lasting impact on your life and the lives of those closet to you. One of the first thoughts of those charged with DUI or DUAC is often focused on the suspension of the accused’s driving privileges. There is no question that it is often very difficult, if not close to impossible, to appropriately manage your responsibilities, such as school, work or family obligations, with a suspended drivers license. Even more important reasons, however, to fight your DUI or DUAC charge is the fact that a DUI or DUAC conviction can have a very serious long-term impact that include:
- Substantial fees and costs related to alcohol counseling;
- Costly license reinstatement fees;
Excessively high automodile insurance premiums for years to come;
- The potential requirement to install ignition interlock devices; and
- The possibility of an enhanced punishment for a subsequent DUI or DUAC conviction.
DUI Can Cause Serious Problems in Your Future
A DUI conviction can carry significant consequences. You may end up paying more in increased insurance costs than you do in fines and fees. Further, a second DUI, depending upon your BAC, can carry a mandatory one-year jail sentence. Also, the administrative fines for a second DUI can be over $5,000.00. Additionally, a DUI can affect scholarships and career opportunities.
Contact the Charleston criminal attorneys of McCoy & Stokes, LLC today! We bring the experience of a former DUI prosecutor to the aid of our clients. Attorney Peter McCoy served as a criminal prosecutor in the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Charleston County from 2005 through 2010. Having that prosecutorial experience allows him to provide you with a defense that understands the way your case is likely to be prosecuted and how to counter the state’s case effectively.
What Do I Need to Do After a DUI Arrest?
Most importantly, contact the experienced Charleston DUI lawyers at McCoy & Stokes, LLC at (843) 628-2855. We can immediately begin helping you address the criminal charges and also effectively deal with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. It is highly likely that your drivers license will have been confiscated during your arrest, and we will need to act quickly to secure an administrative hearing at which we can fight to allow you to resume your driving privileges. There are, however, many issues to consider beyond your administrative hearing, your criminal defense, and items such as SR22 insurance.
We also offer exceptional representation on related charges such as:
- Underage Drinking
- Possession/Use of a False ID
- Public Intoxication
- Open Container
- Field Test
If you’re pulled over and an officer suspects that you’re intoxicated, you may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests. This helps the officer justify further investigation or an arrest based on probable cause, or the extent to which any reasonable person would assume that a crime was taking place at the time. Field tests can consist of:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus: The officer tests the horizontal movement of the suspects eyes to deduce whether they lack proper control of the eye muscles. Eyes that jump from side to side rather than gliding along smoothly indicate possible intoxication.
- Walk and turn: Tests the suspects’ coordination, balance and ability to follow instructions. The officer asks the suspect to walk in a straight line, requiring that the heel of the stepping foot touch the toes of the plant foot on each step. The driver is asked to take a certain number of steps, count aloud for each step and make a pivot turn upon completion. After the turn, the driver will usually have to perform a series of small steps, and walk in a strait line back to the point where the test originated.
- One leg stand: Tests the driver’s balance. The officer asks the driver to stand on one foot for approximately 30 seconds, while counting upwards from 1000. Swaying, hopping to maintain balance, using the arms to maintain balance or miscounting can all be signs of intoxication.
The breathalyzer is another test that police officers use to build their case against you. It’s also the test that determines your BAC level, which influences whether or not you can be convicted of DUI. In South Carolina, any reading above 0.08% indicates that you’re operating a vehicle illegally. Additionally, punishment for a DUI conviction increases relative to the level of alcohol in your system. Readings between 0.10% and 0.15% carry harsher punishment than those between the 0.08 and 0.10% threshold. Likewise, readings above 0.15% can carry even harsher consequences whether it’s a first time or repeat offender.
Like the field test, drivers have the right to refuse the breathalyzer. However, they are also subject to immediate license suspension. If you’ve had your license suspended or have questions about the breathalyzer procedure as it pertains to your arrest, contact the attorneys at McCoy and Stokes, LLC today.
How Experienced DUI or DUAC Attorneys Can Help
The attorneys at McCoy and Stokes, LLC offer passionate representation on your DUI charge. Because the DUI laws in South Carolina require that investigating officers follow a strict set of a procedures, there’s no guarantee that the investigation can be used against you. Our attorneys can detect flaws in the arrest and testing procedures and use those errors to strengthen your case.
Our attorneys also provides peace of mind. Whether it’s being there to answer questions about your case, or helping you navigate the legal process, the attorneys at McCoy and Stokes, LLC can help remove the burden of stress while you deal with your case and attempt to get on with your life.
If you are facing DUI charges, taking an aggressive approach to the defense of your rights is not an option but a necessity. Turn to McCoy & Stokes, LLC, in Charleston, South Carolina where we bring knowledge, skill, and experience that can help you achieve the best possible resolution of your case.
As a South Carolina motorist, you have already consented to being tested for drugs or alcohol if you’re suspected of DUI. Therefore, refusing a field test carries an automatic license suspension. If you refuse your field sobriety test, it’s imperative that you hire an attorney so that you can request an administrative hearing, which gives you a chance at recovering your driving privileges sooner rather than later.
Please contact McCoy & Stokes, LLC at (843) 628-2855 today to schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced Charleston DUI attorneys.