If you’re being accused of driving under the influence in South Carolina, just dealing with a DUI charge can be stressful enough. But to make matters worse, you might receive a harsher sentence if you met certain conditions at the time of your arrest. These conditions are known as “DUI enhancements” and can result in harsher fines and longer jail time.
What are DUI enhancements?
If you have prior DUI convictions, you can automatically expect a harsher sentence. The more convictions you have, the harsher your sentence might be. You might end up spending years in prison and paying thousands of dollars in fines over a basic DUI charge.
You might also receive a longer sentence if you had a minor in the vehicle at the time. This is known as as child endangerment, which can be a crime in and of itself. Your punishment might also be more severe if you destroyed someone’s property or injured another person while driving under the influence.
Some states also have stronger penalties for individuals with high blood alcohol concentration levels at the time of the arrest. You can also expect an additional charge if you had an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, even if you weren’t drinking from it. Many states also have punishments for people who refuse to take a breathalyzer test, ranging from license suspension to automatic jail time.
What can you do when you’re facing a DUI charge?
A DUI charge can be difficult to argue against, but it isn’t hopeless. If the officer violated your rights at any point during the arrest, your attorney might be able to get certain charges dismissed. They could also get certain DUI enhancements taken off the charge if they can prove that you don’t qualify.