In South Carolina, younger drivers don’t get the luxury of leniency when it comes to drinking and driving. An underage drunk driver could be facing criminal penalties and sanctions being put on their driver’s license, which can hurt your child’s chances in college and future employment.
The underage DUI team at the Greenville, South Carolina law firm of Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, L.L.C. has the skill and experience necessary to defend high school and college students facing driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drug charges.
What is the Zero Tolerance Law In South Carolina?
The state of South Carolina has a Zero Tolerance law. This means that if the driver is under the age of 21, arresting law enforcement can charge them under traditional DUI laws. The arresting officer can charge an underaged drinker with the Zero Tolerance Law and they are subject to the zero-tolerance blood-alcohol threshold – this means they can’t have any alcohol in their system at the time of the arrest.
A zero-tolerance offense with a blood alcohol count of .02 or higher means their driver’s license is automatically suspended for three months.
An underage driver with a blood alcohol count of .08 or higher will face the same penalties that an adult driver would be facing.
If your child is convicted of a DUI and is under 21 years of age, zero tolerance can seriously affect them in many ways, such as:
- If they are college students or recruits, it could affect enrollment, scholarship, career prospects, and financial aid.
- They could lose their driver’s license, which would make it difficult for your child to get to work or school.
What is the Zero Tolerance Suspension in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, a driver under the age of 21 is “considered to have given consent to chemical tests of the person’s breath or blood to determine the presence of alcohol.”
This means that if your child is arrested and law enforcement has a reason to believe your child is under the influence of alcohol the police can demand a breath sample and, in some cases, a blood or urine sample.
If your child or any driver refuses to be tested, then their driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 6 months if this is their first offense.
If a driver, including those under age 21, has had a conviction for DUI or has had their license suspended in the past 3 years for failing to give a sample, their driver’s license will be suspended automatically for one year.
Can I Fight A Zero Tolerance Suspension in South Carolina?
In some cases, you may be able to challenge the suspension. Still, an implied consent hearing has to be requested within 30 days from the date your child was arrested.
At that hearing, the driver can challenge various things which include:
- The accuracy of the machine used
- Whether the arrest was lawful
- Whether the driver was advised adequately of the consequences of not blowing or blowing
- Whether the driver really refused.
In some cases, a driver and/or underage driver can get a Temporary Alcohol License, which would allow them to drive without any restrictions while awaiting the implied consent hearing.
Can A South Carolina DUI Lawyer Make a Difference?
The Greenville, South Carolina DUI attorneys at the law firm of Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, L.L.C. have represented underage drivers who have been arrested for a DUI or zero tolerance violations.
Our skill, experience, and knowledge of the law may help your underage driver who has been arrested for a DUI or under the Zero Tolerance law of South Carolina. We will be prepared to go to court with you and defend you.