South Carolina DWI / DUI Case Elements
Intro to South Carolina DWI / DUI Case Law
In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination therein, which appreciably and materially impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
To be guilty of "driving" under the DUI/DWI laws, you must have had the vehicle in motion. Operating the electronics or having the motor running while not in motion is insufficient for a DWI/DUI conviction.
While the vehicle must have been in motion, it is irrelevant where that vehicle is in motion. A police officer may rightfully issue a DWI/DUI citation to anyone operating a motor vehicle on either public or private land.
Aggravating Factors in DWI / DUI Cases
South Carolina DWI/DUI laws lay out certain circumstances surrounding an arrest for driving under the influence or driving while impaired which will elevate the potential punishment if a conviction is obtained by the State.
If you have been cited for Drunk Driving or Driving While Under the Influence and were involved in an accident or otherwise operated your vehicle in a negligent manner which resulted in great bodily injury or death to another person and are found guilty, it will be a felony conviction. A felony conviction will directly affect every aspect of your life for the rest of your life including but not limited to your ability to obtain employment.
Another aggravating factor is whether at the time in which you were arrested you had anyone as a passenger in the vehicle that was under the age of 16. This is known as child endangerment. If you are over the age of 18 and have a passenger under the age of 16 in your vehicle, this will elevate the seriousness of your crime in South Carolina. In some instances, a conviction under these circumstances can be used as evidence against you in a hearing to terminate your parental rights thereby making your child a ward of the state and permanently cutting off all contact between you and your children.
A Myrtle Beach DUI conviction can have serious and long-lasting consequences. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, it is important that you contact an experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights. Contact Myrtle Beach South Carolina DUI lawyers at Everett Law Firm at (800) 942-8048 for a free consultation if you have been arrested or charged with any type of drunk driving offense.