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Bluffton Underage DUI Lawyer
Aggressive Defense Against Underage DUI Charges in South Carolina
You need a legal team you can count on when it comes to underage DUI issues in South Carolina. At Horton & Associates, LLC, we have a wealth of experience defending clients facing underage DUI charges. Our firm provides aggressive and effective legal representation for those in this challenging situation. We understand that a DUI charge can have a lasting impact on a young person's life, and we are here to help navigate the legal process and work towards a favorable resolution.
Call Horton & Associates, LLC today at (843) 420-1344 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our underage DUI attorney in Bluffton!
South Carolina Zero Tolerance Laws
In South Carolina, the legal drinking age is 21. This means the state enforces strict zero-tolerance laws for individuals under 21 driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Under these laws, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02% or higher. This is significantly lower than the standard BAC limit of 0.08% for individuals over 21.
The zero-tolerance policy is in place to discourage underage drinking and driving and to ensure the safety of young drivers and others on the road. Law enforcement in Bluffton takes these matters seriously, and a conviction for an underage DUI can have severe consequences.
What are the Penalties for an Underage DUI in South Carolina?
Penalties for underage DUI offenses in South Carolina can vary depending on the case's specific circumstances, but they are generally harsh. It's essential to understand the potential consequences that young drivers may face if convicted of an underage DUI:
- License Suspension: A driver's license suspension is one of the most significant penalties for an underage DUI. The length of the suspension can vary, but it often ranges from six months to a year. The duration depends on the number of prior DUI offenses, BAC level, and other factors.
- Fines: Underage DUI convictions come with fines that can significantly impact a young person's finances. The fines can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the case.
- Probation: In some cases, individuals may be placed on probation as part of their sentence. This can include mandatory counseling, community service, or other court-ordered requirements.
- Criminal Record: An underage DUI conviction can result in a criminal record, affecting future educational and employment opportunities. Having a criminal record can be particularly detrimental for young individuals.
- Increased Insurance Premiums: Insurance rates will likely skyrocket after an underage DUI conviction. This increased cost can burden young drivers for years to come.
- Ignition Interlock Device: In some instances, individuals convicted of an underage DUI may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver's BAC exceeds a set limit.
- Impact on Education: For college-bound individuals, an underage DUI conviction can result in disciplinary actions from universities or colleges. It may even affect eligibility for financial aid or scholarships.
Defenses Against Underage DUI Charges
When facing underage DUI charges, it's crucial to explore potential defenses. At Horton & Associates, LLC, we have the experience and knowledge to investigate your case thoroughly and identify the most effective defense strategies. Some common defenses against underage DUI charges include:
- Lack of Probable Cause: We will assess whether law enforcement had a valid reason to stop and detain you in the first place. If there was no probable cause, it may be possible to challenge the legality of the stop.
- Inaccurate BAC Testing: We will scrutinize the methods used to test your BAC, including breathalyzer and blood tests. Errors or inaccuracies in testing procedures can be used to your advantage.
- Mistaken Identity: It is possible that you were not the one driving the vehicle or that you were not under the influence at the time of the arrest. We will thoroughly investigate your case's circumstances to identify any potential mistakes.
- Violation of Rights: We will review whether your rights were violated during the arrest and booking process. Any violations could lead to the exclusion of evidence in court.
- Rising BAC: It is possible that your BAC was rising at the time of the arrest and was not over the legal limit while you were driving.
Contact Our Bluffton Underage DUI Attorney Today
Facing an underage DUI charge in South Carolina is a serious matter that requires immediate attention. The consequences of a conviction can be long-lasting and damaging, affecting your education, career, and personal life. At Horton & Associates, LLC, we are committed to providing skilled legal representation to help young individuals navigate this challenging legal terrain.
Our team has the knowledge and experience to build a robust defense and explore all available options to minimize the impact of an underage DUI charge. We understand the importance of protecting your future and are dedicated to providing the legal support you need.
Contact Horton & Associates, LLC today to schedule a meeting with our underage DUI lawyer in Bluffton!