4701 Oleander Drive, Suite A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

North Myrtle Beach DUI Lawyer

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North Myrtle Beach DUI Lawyer

North Myrtle Beach DUI Attorney

In North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, driving under the influence (DUI) can have lasting consequences for those involved. The city’s popular beachfront and vibrant nightlife contribute to the prevalence of DUI cases in the area. Therefore, local law enforcement is vigilant in cracking down on impaired driving. As a result, individuals charged with DUIs in North Myrtle Beach face significant legal challenges. These include potential license suspension, fines, jail time, and mandatory education programs.

However, not every arrest for DUI results in a conviction. Sometimes accusations fall flat, or a person’s rights may have been violated in the process. An experienced North Myrtle Beach DUI attorney can help determine if you have any legal recourse in your DUI case, starting with the first consultation.

North Myrtle Beach DUI Lawyer

Overview of DUI Laws in South Carolina

In South Carolina, DUI laws are strictly enforced. A person is legally considered to be driving under the influence if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. However, for commercial drivers, the BAC limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21, it is 0.02%. DUI charges can also be brought against individuals who are driving under the influence of drugs or other intoxicating substances. However, these results from drug tests are not always reliable or usable in court.

Why Are Some People Inaccurately Accused of a DUI?

Unfortunately, it is possible to be charged with DUI even if you are not guilty. This can happen because of:

  • Subjective Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus, depend on the officer’s personal interpretation to assess impairment. Poor visibility, uneven terrain, or the driver’s nervousness can affect test performance, leading to false conclusions. Moreover, an officer may have preconceived notions or inadequate training in administering and interpreting these tests. These can result in inaccurate assessments of impairment.
  • Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results: Breathalyzer devices that measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can produce false readings for various reasons. For instance, improper calibration or poor device maintenance can affect the results. Additionally, external factors like residual alcohol in the mouth, use of certain mouthwashes or medications, specific medical conditions, or even consumption of particular foods can interfere with the accuracy of breathalyzer test results. These can often lead to false accusations of DUI.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications can cause symptoms that mimic intoxication. For example, individuals with diabetes, hypoglycemia, or neurological disorders may experience slurred speech, an unsteady gait, or impaired motor skills. Officers unfamiliar with these medical conditions may mistakenly interpret these symptoms as signs of intoxication and arrest the individual for DUI.
  • Fatigue or Stress: Extreme fatigue, stress, or emotional distress can manifest in physical and cognitive symptoms resembling impairment. Bloodshot eyes, slow reaction times, and difficulty concentrating may lead an officer to mistakenly assume that the individual is under the influence. This misunderstanding can result in an unwarranted DUI charge.
  • Improper Traffic Stops: An officer may initiate a traffic stop based on a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of a driver’s actions. For example, a momentary lapse in concentration, a mechanical issue with the vehicle, or even adverse weather conditions could be mistaken for signs of impaired driving. This may lead to an improper traffic stop and an inaccurate DUI accusation.
  • False Positive Drug Tests: In cases where someone is suspected of driving while using drugs, field drug tests may produce false positives. These tests can sometimes cross-react with legal substances, such as over-the-counter medications. They can also produce inaccurate results due to improper handling of test samples or equipment malfunctions. This can lead to an undeserved DUI charge for the individual in question.

How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in North Myrtle Beach, SC

When selecting a DUI lawyer, do your research and ensure the attorney you choose has experience handling similar cases. Here are some professional tips to help you find the right lawyer for your case:

  • Experience in Local DUI Cases: Look for a DUI attorney with a substantial background in handling cases within North Myrtle Beach and South Carolina. An attorney with experience in local DUI cases will be better equipped to navigate the local legal system’s intricacies. They also understand the potential impact of state-specific regulations and procedures on your case.
  • Proven Success With DUI Cases: Investigate the criminal lawyer’s history in dealing with DUI cases. Focus on their ability to get charges reduced or dismissed and secure favorable plea agreements or verdicts for their clients. A strong track record of DUI defense can give you more confidence in their ability to effectively represent you.
  • Clear and Open Communication Style: Choose a DUI lawyer who is known for their ability to communicate clearly and effectively with their clients. They should also provide regular updates and make complex legal concepts easy to understand. Their commitment to keeping you informed and involved in decision-making is crucial. It allows you to build trust and ensure a strong attorney-client relationship.
  • Familiarity With North Myrtle Beach Legal Community: Opt for a lawyer who has established relationships with local judges, prosecutors, and criminal law enforcement in North Myrtle Beach. This familiarity with key players in the legal community can provide valuable insights and leverage during negotiations, plea bargaining, and trial proceedings. This can contribute to a more favorable outcome for your case.
  • Positive Client Testimonials Specific to DUI Cases: Pay attention to reviews and testimonials from past clients who have faced DUI charges in North Myrtle Beach. These firsthand accounts can offer vivid insights into the lawyer’s approach to DUI cases, their ability to build strong defense strategies, and their overall effectiveness in achieving successful outcomes for clients in similar situations.

Ultimately, finding the right DUI lawyer for your case should not be taken lightly. Take time to research, evaluate your options, and discuss your case with potential lawyers to ensure they are an appropriate fit. With the right attorney, you can feel better supported to fight your allegations rather than feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of the future.

FAQs About North Myrtle Beach, SC DUI Laws

How Long Will a DUI Conviction Stay on My Record in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, a DUI conviction remains on your criminal record indefinitely. However, the impact on your driving record varies depending on the number of prior offenses and the severity of the conviction. A first-time DUI offense can stay on your driving record for ten years. Multiple offenses can result in a permanent mark on your driving history. This can affect your insurance premiums, employment opportunities, and personal life.

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in North Myrtle Beach, SC?

You can refuse a breathalyzer test in North Myrtle Beach. However, doing so may result in an automatic license suspension under South Carolina’s implied consent law. This suspension can last for:

  • 6 months for a first refusal
  • 9 months for a second refusal
  • 12 months for a third or subsequent refusal

Additionally, your refusal to submit to the test can be used as evidence against you in court. This may negatively impact your case.

Is Getting a Restricted or Provisional License Possible After a DUI Conviction in South Carolina?

In some cases, you may be eligible for a restricted or provisional license in South Carolina after a DUI conviction. This type of license allows you to drive under specific conditions, such as traveling to work, school, or alcohol education programs. Eligibility depends on:

  • The severity of the offense
  • Your driving history
  • Your adherence to any court-ordered requirements

Such requirements may include installing an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle.

How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost in South Carolina?

The cost of hiring a DUI attorney in South Carolina can vary significantly depending on several factors. These factors may include:

  • The complexity of your case
  • The attorney’s level of experience
  • Their reputation
  • The geographic location of their practice

Typically, DUI attorneys charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate. A flat fee can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. Hourly rates can vary from $100 to $400 per hour or even higher in some cases. It is important to discuss the fee structure and any additional expenses, such as court fees or expert witness fees, with your attorney during the initial consultation.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), and When Is It Required in South Carolina?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer-like instrument. It is installed in a vehicle to prevent it from starting if the driver’s BAC is above a pre-set limit. In South Carolina, an IID may be required for individuals convicted of DUI offenses with a BAC of 0.15% or higher. It may also be mandated for those with multiple DUI convictions. The IID requirement’s duration depends on the offense’s severity and the individual’s prior DUI history.

Contact Axelrod & Associates Today

At Axelrod & Associates, our experienced DUI attorneys are here to help you understand your rights and options under South Carolina law. We can provide personalized guidance to help you navigate the South Carolina legal process and protect your rights. To learn more about how we can assist with your case, contact us today for an initial consultation. We are here to help!