SC DUAC or DUI: No Real Difference Now

duacDUAC, or “driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration,” is a serious misdemeanor offense. To win, the State must show you were:

  • operating a motor vehicle,
  • while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance, or both; AND
  • have a reported BAC level of 0.08 or greater.

Here, the State does not have to show “unsafe driving.”

DUI, or “driving under the influence,” is the more commonly known misdemeanor offense. To convict, the State must show all of the above and/or you were:

  • “materially and appreciably impaired” (unable to safely operate a vehicle).

Therefore, in DUI cases, the State actually has a second option to convict you at trial.

What is Different about DUAC

First of all, most people and even inexperienced lawyers do not understand DUAC. For example, DUAC is NOT a lesser offense or reduced DUI. Rather, DUAC actually makes proving “drunk driving” easier. Instead, only the reported BAC level is required. Of course, we still evaluate every aspect of your case. In addition to the initial stop and field sobriety tests, we also challenge breath testing “science” and your results. And our most powerful weapon in DUI defense is still video issues. If there is a violation of the video statute (Section 56-5-2953), the BAC level won’t matter. We win your case. And you learn a valuable lesson. Now go and sin no more.

Legally Impaired

If your reported blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher, you are presumed to be legally impaired. However, the State can prosecute a BAC below 0.08. But, to win, the government must show “material and appreciable impairment.”  In this scenario, DUAC would not apply, and the person would be charged with DUI. Try not to worry. Since we focus our criminal practice on DUI and DUAC cases, we are ready to fight either charge. Because you placed your trust in our firm, we pledge our best efforts to protect you. Once we have all evidence, we will sit down and go over your case in full. Next, we will answer your questions and make recommendations. Then, with our guidance, you can make good decisions. We’ve got your back here. You’re not doing this alone.

DUAC Penalties

Both charges are serious offenses that result in a permanent criminal record. This is why it is important to fight either charge. In addition, both DUAC and DUI have the same penalties. Consequently, for a first offense without accident, there are fines, ADSAP, and SR-22 insurance for 3 years. Furthermore, you lose your driver’s license or driving privilege for 6 months. You get a driver’s license in your home State. But you have driving privileges anywhere else. Because we practice in both South Carolina and North Carolina, we routinely deal with these issues. And finally, there are usually additional consequences if you are from somewhere else.

Hopefully, this information has been helpful. More importantly, you now see there is no real difference between a DUAC or DUI. For more detailed answers, we need to sit down and review your case. Call us now and let’s start your defense. We’re standing by to help.

The criminal defense firm Robert J. Reeves P.C. handles DUI cases throughout South Carolina, including in the cities of Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Charleston, and Beaufort.