DUI / Felony DUI
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Myrtle Beach DUI Attorney

DUI Is a Criminal Offense, Which Means You Need a Defense Attorney After an Arrest

DUI is a criminal offense most often affecting individuals who are not typically involved in criminal activity. With frequent changes in DUI laws, it has become extremely difficult for individuals to gauge when one can drive, and when one should not. The most important point to remember is this: An arrest for DUI is not a conviction for DUI. At least, not with the right defense lawyer on your side.

To put a winning Myrtle Beach DUI attorney on your side, contact T. Kirk Truslow, P.A. for a free consultation. The firm can be reached at (843) 212-1116 or via this online contact form. Ask about the firm’s same-day appointment options when you call!

Is Drinking & Driving Always Illegal or Are There Exceptions?

Given the frequency of law enforcement ad campaigns, it would appear to many that it is illegal to drink and drive; however, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, many law enforcement professionals are in the practice of arresting any individual who has consumed an alcoholic beverage before driving, whether or not they admitted to, or showed signs of, impairment. In fact, there have even been cases in which an arrest was made when the defendant hadn’t had anything alcoholic to drink.

By law, the crime of DUI requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual consumed enough alcohol or drugs, or a combination thereof, to render them “impaired.” In the legal context, “under the influence” means impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired. The proof required for conviction, particularly when put up against a well-prepared defense, is much, much more than “drinking and driving.”

DUI Defense Strategies

Apart from the factual defense, which includes challenging the Field Sobriety Tests and Breath Alcohol Datamaster machine, a DUI defense must include a thorough legal analysis. This includes analysis of a host of legal issues currently in place that can prevent the prosecution of a DUI case for reasons not associated with whether an individual was impaired.

A proper DUI analysis should include examination of the following:

  • proper procedures were followed in accordance with the mandatory video recording statutes,
  • probable cause for the traffic stop,
  • maintenance records of the breath alcohol Datamaster machine,
  • Miranda warnings, and
  • SLED policies and procedures for obtaining a proper breath alcohol sample.

When a case involves alcohol testing by urine or blood, many other issues arise that must also be investigated.

Mr. Truslow is prepared to not only conduct a proper analysis of the circumstances leading to your DUI charge, but prepare a strategic defense that reasonably calls into question the validity of the “results” that were found.

Statutory Penalties for a DUI Conviction

The statutory penalties for DUI have increased. The current statutory penalties are set forth below.

First Offense

  • .08% BAC: Minimum jail time of 48 hours, up to 30 days and a $400 fine.
  • .10% to .015% BAC: Minimum jail time of 72 hours, up to 30 days and a $500 fine.
  • .16% or greater BAC: Minimum jail time of 30 days, up to 90 days and a $1,000 fine.

Second Offense

  • .08% BAC: Minimum jail time of 5 days, up to 1 year and a fine between $2,100 and $5,100.
  • .10% to .015% BAC: Minimum jail time of 30 days, up to 2 years and a fine between $2,100 and $5,100.
  • .16% or greater BAC: Minimum jail time of 90 days, up to 3 years and a fine between $3,500 and $6,500.

Third Offense

  • .08% BAC: Minimum jail time of 60 days, up to 3 years and a fine between $3,800 and $6,300.
  • .10% to .015% BAC: Minimum jail time of 90 days, up to 4 years and a fine between $5,000 and $7,500.
  • .16% or greater BAC: Minimum jail time of 6 months, up to 5 years and a fine between $7,500 and $10,000.

Fourth or Subsequent Offenses

  • .08% BAC: Minimum jail time of 1 year, up to 5 years.
  • .10% to .015% BAC: Minimum jail time of 2 years, up to 6 years.
  • .16% or greater BAC: Minimum jail time of 3 years, up to 7 years.

Ancillary Penalties for a DUI Conviction

Ancillary penalties associated with a DUI conviction include:

  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Criminal record
  • Expensive and time-consuming Alcohol and Drugs Safety Classes (ADSAP)
  • 3-year requirement to carry expensive SR22 insurance policy
  • Requirement to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device

Ignition Interlock Device 
Ignition Interlock requires an individual to have a device installed in the vehicle that prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on the individual’s breath when they blow into the device before starting the car. It is expensive to install, and also requires expensive routine checks.

Whereas this requirement used to only apply to a conviction for a second or subsequent DUI offense, it now also applies to a conviction for even a first-time DUI offense where the individual registered a breath sample of .15 or greater.

Administrative Penalties for a DUI Conviction

Administrative consequences often accompany a DUI arrest. Though an individual is permitted to refuse to provide a breath sample, doing so will result in a suspension of driving privileges and mandatory attendance of the Alcohol and Drug Safety Classes (ADSAP). This is also applicable if an individual chooses to submit a breath sample, and that sample is a .15 or greater.

These penalties are instituted at the time of the refusal or registration of a breath sample of .15 or higher; however, an individual has the right to request a hearing to rectify this situation. Additionally, upon requesting the hearing, the individual’s driving privileges can be restored until the time of the hearing. The administrative hearing must be requested within 30 days.

To best avoid the harsh penalties of a first-time or subsequent DUI, put the winning Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer at T. Kirk Truslow, P.A. on your side. Schedule a free consultation by dialing (843) 212-1116 or submitting an online contact form.

Read Our Recent Reviews dedicated to the Success of our Clients

"Kirk defended me in a recent DUI case in North Myrtle, a second offense from one in North Carolina. He was able to get reduced to a reckless driving offense!"

- Jackson