You wanted to go out and have a good time with your friends, so you drove downtown and met them at a bar. You knew some people would be drinking, but you didn't think that you'd have enough to need to call a taxi for a ride home.
After several hours of catching up and hanging out, you decide that it's time that you head home. You feel fine, but you know you've had a lot to drink. You "test" yourself in the parking lot and decide you're sober enough to get home safely.
Unfortunately, the last drink of the night hadn't hit you yet, and you found yourself weaving in the roadway. Moments later, an officer pulled you over, and the rest is history.
DUIs like yours do have a potential to impact you in many significant ways. Here are four common things that you may notice after receiving a DUI.
1. You could go to jail
Even on a first offense DUI in South Carolina, there's a risk that you could go to jail for up to 30 days. This is more likely if you have a higher blood alcohol concentration or have hurt someone or damaged property. You will likely also face fines of up to $400 and lose your license for up to six months if your BAC was under 0.10 percent.
If this isn't your first offense, you face more significant penalties including the potential to go to jail for up to a year on a second offense or up to five years on a fourth offense.
Fines increase with each offense ranging from $5,100 on a second offense up to $10,000 or more with a third offense. You'll also be likely to lose your license longer with each subsequent offense, with a fourth offense costing you your license for life.
2. You could lose your job
Depending on what your job is and the workplace's rules, you could lose your job. Professionals who are licensed in their fields may have their licenses suspended or revoked.
3. Your personal relationships suffer
It's not as easy to take care of your family or to see your friends when you're not able to drive. If you have custody of your children or share custody, you may struggle to keep up with your obligations. If you need to drive for work, you could see an immediate impact on your household's finances.
4. Your ego suffers
Finally, it's a reality that you're bound to suffer as a result of a DUI. Maybe you'll belittle yourself about making a bad decision or become depressed over losing a job or hurting your relationships. Remember, over time, the DUI will stop affecting you, but time has to pass first. Your attorney can help you fight to eliminate the DUI or penalties, which could help you avoid much of the trouble listed above.
These are four things you should think about if you get a DUI. Having a strong defense is an extremely good idea.