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Driving Under the Influence: A Complete List of DUI-Related Offenses in SC

Driving Under the Influence: A Complete List of DUI-Related Offenses in SC
Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

Most people have heard of DUI (driving under the influence), but did you know that there are many other DUI-related offenses in South Carolina?

Below, we will provide a complete list of DUI-related offenses in SC, including:

  • The most common DUI-related charges,
  • DUI charges for boat or aircraft operators,
  • What they call DUI in other states, and
  • Other DUI-related charges in SC.

DUI-Related Offenses in SC – DUI, DUAC, Felony DUI

The most common DUI-related charges in SC – and the ones most people have heard of, include DUI, DUAC, and felony DUI.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

SC Code § 56-5-2930 makes it a crime to:

  • Drive a motor vehicle – it must be a motor vehicle, and the vehicle must be in motion under your control (sleeping behind the wheel, even if the vehicle is running, is not “driving”),
  • Within the State of South Carolina,
  • While your faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired – even if your breath test results are greater than .08, the state must prove that your faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired.

Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC)

DUAC, or driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration, is a bit different. DUAC is SC’s “per se” statute, which is the same or similar to every state’s per se DUI statutes that they were forced by the federal government to adopt (or lose their federal highway funds).

SC Code § 56-5-2933 makes it a crime to:

  • Drive a motor vehicle within the State of South Carolina,
  • While your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or greater – even if your faculties to drive are not materially and appreciably impaired, because the state only needs to prove your blood alcohol content.

Felony DUI

Felony DUI is charged when someone is seriously injured or dies as a result of a drunk driver’s negligence. Under SC Code § 56-5-2945, the state must prove that:

  • Another person suffered great bodily injury or death,
  • That was proximately caused by your negligence,
  • While you were driving a motor vehicle in the State of SC,
  • While you were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

What is DUI Called in Other States?

If you have ever lived in another state, you may have heard other names for DUI, including:

  • OVI = Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated,
  • OMVI = Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired,
  • DUI = Driving Under the Influence,
  • DUII = Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants,
  • DUII-CS = Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants: Controlled Substances,
  • OWI = Operating While Intoxicated,
  • DWI = Driving While Intoxicated,
  • OUI = Operating Under the Influence of intoxicating liquor,
  • DWAI = Driving While Ability Impaired, or
  • ADWI = Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

Other DUI-Related Offenses in SC

DUI, DUAC, and felony DUI are not the only DUI-related offenses in SC, though. Other DUI-related charges apply when a person is operating a boat, piloting or staffing a plane, or driving under the influence with a minor child in the vehicle.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI)

SC Code § 50-21-112 makes it a crime to operate a “moving motorized water device or water device under sail upon the waters of this state” while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Flying Under the Influence (FUI)

FUI (flying under the influence) is charged when a pilot or member of the flight crew is intoxicated, and the statute includes a “per se” FUI law with a BAC of .04 or greater (instead of .08 or greater like DUAC).

SC Code § 55-1-100 makes it a crime for a pilot or flight crew member to show up for work:

  • Within eight hours of drinking alcohol,
  • While under the influence of alcohol,
  • While using an illegal drug or controlled substance that affects the person’s faculties in an unsafe manner, or
  • With a BAC of .04 or higher.

DUI-Related Child Endangerment

Child endangerment, found in SC Code § 56-5-2947, is an additional charge given to people who are accused of DUI, DUAC, felony DUI, or failure to stop for a blue light when there is a child younger than 16 years old in the vehicle.

DUI-Related Administrative Proceedings

SC also has several DUI-related administrative proceedings. These are heard in the administrative court, are considered civil in nature, cannot result in prison time, and generally involve the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license.

DUI Under the Age of 21/ SC’s Zero Tolerance Law

Law enforcement often says that SC is a “zero tolerance” state.

That’s not true (see above for the elements of DUI and DUAC), but SC does have a “zero tolerance” administrative license suspension for people under the age of 21.

You could be charged with DUI, or you could be “charged” under the zero-tolerance law, but you cannot be charged with both. SC Code § 56-1-286 allows an officer to suspend a person’s driver’s license if they are under the age of 21 and they drive a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02 or more.

Implied Consent Suspensions/ /DUI Administrative Hearings

Another administrative proceeding related to DUI is SC’s implied consent law, which allows an officer to suspend a person’s license if they 1) refuse the breathalyzer test or 2) take the breath test and the result is .15 or greater.

Other DUI-Related Charges in SC

Other DUI-related offenses may accompany DUI or DUAC charges, including:

  • Open container in a vehicle,
  • Public disorderly conduct,
  • Breach of peace,
  • Public intoxication,
  • Minor in possession of alcohol, or
  • Use of a fake ID to purchase alcohol.

Got Axelrod?

If you have been charged with DUI, DUAC, felony DUI, or a DUI-related offense in SC, contact a DUI defense lawyer on the Axelrod team immediately – we may be able to get your case dismissed, you may be able to avoid a license suspension, and you may have defenses that you are not aware of.

Call Axelrod and Associates now at 843-258-4079 or email us to talk with a Myrtle Beach, SC DUI defense attorney today.

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