Jun

4

South Carolina DUI Law Dies in Legislature Until Next Year

By Guest Attorney

South Carolina’s new DUI law failed to pass through the state’s legislature this year. The Governor says he hopes to take it up again in January, 2008.

Among other things, the South Carolina bill would create an extreme DUI law, where a driver convicted of DUI with a high blood alcohol level (BAC) would receive stiffer DUI penalties than someone who just breaks the BAC limit of 0.08 percent.

Nov

29

Council Proposes Tougher South Carolina DUI Laws

By Mary Ann

The South Carolina Impaired Driving Prevention Council, made up of representatives from various state agencies and organizations involved with highway safety proposed toughening South Carolina’s DUI laws. Proposals include: 1) suspending a driver’s license for a full year upon refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test (up from 90 days), 2) eliminating South Carolina’s requirement that Miranda warnings be given to a suspected drunk driver prior to administering field sobriety and breath tests (S.C. is the only state currently requiring such Miranda warnings), 3) keeping the existing 10?year window for DUI convictions to be considered as prior offenses (rather than reducing the window to 5 years), and 4) allowing magistrates and municipal judges to hear DUI cases that carry a maximum 90?day sentence (up from the current 30?day sentence limit).

Nov

25

South Carolina Governor Calls for Tougher DUI Laws

By Mary Ann

South Carolina’s Governor has called for strengthening DUI penalties in the State. A Governor’s study panel is recommending a tiered penalty system. Principally, the new laws would add penalties for driving with an aggravated BAC. The four tiers would be:

(1) Driving With An Unlawful Alcohol Concentration: Driving with a BAC of at least .08 percent but less than .10 percent. Maximum penalties would range from 30 days in jail for a first offense to five years in prison for fourth and subsequent offenses, plus fines. 

(2) Driving With An Unlawful and High Alcohol Concentration: Driving with a BAC of at least .10 percent but less than .16 percent. Maximum penalties would range from 30 days in jail for a first offense to six years in prison for fourth and subsequent offenses, plus fines.

(3) Driving With An Unlawful and Gross Alcohol Concentration: Driving with a BAC of at least .16 percent. Maximum penalties would range from 90 days in jail for a first offense to seven years in prison for fourth and subsequent offenses, plus fines.

(4) Driving While Impaired: Driving while “materially and appreciably impaired.” Maximum penalties range from 30 days in jail for a first offense to five years in prison for fourth and subsequent offenses, plus fines. Not dependant on BAC tests.

While the Governor defended his position saying that defense attorneys were profiting from the existing system, at least one DUI defense attorney declared that tougher laws would bring more business to DUI lawyers.