Mt. Pleasant Underage DUI Attorney
What Constitutes Underage DUI in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, all drivers can be convicted of a standard DUI charge for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and offenders face the same consequences regardless of age. However, drivers who are under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if they have a BAC of as low as.02%.
So, an underage motorist who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol (their faculties to drive are materially impaired) can be charged with either an underage DUI or a standard DUI, based on the officer’s discretion. The main distinction is that an underage driver who is caught driving with a BAC of at least .02% but less than .08% (and thus isn’t impaired enough to meet the standard definition of “under the influence”) can be cited for an underage DUI.
Attorney Joe Good concentrates in the field of DUI law as he defends clients against the driving-related charges. If you or your child are facing underage DUI charges in Mt. Pleasant, do not hesitate to contact Joe Good, Attorney at Law for legal help. Underage DUIs can be confusing to navigate, especially as they are distinguishable from standard DUIs. Attorney Joe Good prioritizes accessible and responsive representation as he works with his clients, and you can be sure that he will be accessible 24/7 to you, whether you have questions about the status of your case or have concerns about anything that arises in the process.
Penalties and Sentencing
As opposed to standard DUI penalties, an underage DUI conviction will generally not result in any court fines or jail time. However, there will be a number of other expenses for license penalties and required treatment, depending on severity of the offense.
Following a chemical test, the administering officer will issue a suspension notice indicating that the individual’s driver’s license is immediately suspended. If the defendant had a BAC of .02% or more, they will face a 3-month suspension, which can increase to 6 months if this is the defendant’s second offense. If the individual refused testing, their license will be suspended for 6 months upon a first offense and 1 year upon a second offense. Additionally, every person cited for an underage DUI must also enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program, which requires the person to obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow all recommended treatment.
Note that unlike with a standard DUI, which is handled in a criminal court, an underage DUI is handled administratively through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The case likely will not involve a judge or trial and will not result in a criminal conviction. Any objection to the administrative action must be filed within 30 days, and an experienced attorney will be particularly useful for this process.
Consult an Experienced Attorney for Legal Representation
If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI in South Carolina, do not hesitate to seek legal representation immediately. The legal protocol for underage DUI is different from standard DUI, and an experienced underage DUI lawyer can better help you navigate this process. It is important to keep in mind that, depending on the BAC level in question, you could be charged with either underage DUI or standard DUI, if the BAC reaches .08%. An attorney can help you argue for mitigated charges and, hopefully, keep the charge at the underage DUI level.
Joe Good, Attorney at Law has been representing drivers in DUI cases for 13 years, and he handles hundreds of DUIs per year. You can trust that your or your child’s underage DUI charge will be in good hands as Attorney Joe Good builds a defense for you and guides you through the administrative process following a charge.