Underage DUI

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Columbia Underage DUI Attorney

Defending Columbia's Youth Against Underage DUI Charges

If your child has been charged with an underage DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Columbia, South Carolina, you need a dedicated and experienced attorney to protect their future. At the Law Office of Patrick C. Sharpe, LLC, we understand the complexities of underage DUI cases and are committed to providing strong legal representation to safeguard your child's rights and future.

Contact a Columbia underage DUI lawyer from the Law Office of Patrick C. Sharpe today at (803) 721-4615 to learn more about your options.

Understanding Underage DUI

Underage DUI, often referred to as "Zero Tolerance DUI," occurs when an individual under the legal drinking age of 21 is found operating a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. In South Carolina, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as low as 0.02% for drivers under 21 can lead to serious consequences.

South Carolina's Penalties for Underage DUI

In South Carolina, individuals under the age of 21 face additional alcohol restrictions, and there are specific penalties for minors accused of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) with alleged Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BACs) between 0.02 and 0.079. These penalties vary depending on the alleged BAC level:

BAC Under 0.08 for Minors:

  • First Offense DUI: Results in a 3-month driver's license suspension.
  • Second Offense DUI: Leads to a 6-month driver's license suspension.
  • First Refusal of "Implied Consent": Occurs when an individual declines a breath or chemical BAC test. This results in a 6-month driver's license suspension. It's essential to note that driving in South Carolina implies consent to take a BAC breath, blood, or urine test when legally requested by law enforcement.
  • Second Implied Consent Refusal within 5 years: Results in a 1-year driver's license suspension.

BAC 0.08 Percent or Higher for Minors:

If a minor's alleged BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, they face the same charges and penalties as an adult in a similar situation. Here's what could potentially occur:

  • BAC of 0.08-0.10: May result in 2-30 days of incarceration, up to a 6-month driver's license suspension, and a $400 fine.
  • BAC 0.10-0.15: Could lead to 3-30 days of incarceration, a 6-month driver's license suspension, and a $500 fine.
  • BAC 0.15 or higher: May result in 30-90 days of incarceration, an automatic driver's license suspension, and at least a $1,000 fine.

Note: In cases where someone was injured during an alleged DUI incident, the penalties are significantly more severe for the accused.

Impact on Your Child's Future

An underage DUI charge can have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond the immediate penalties. It can affect your child's future in several ways, including:

  • Educational Opportunities: Many colleges and universities consider criminal records during the admission process, potentially limiting your child's educational prospects.
  • Employment Opportunities: Employers often conduct background checks, and a DUI conviction can hinder job prospects, especially in fields that require a clean record.
  • Insurance Rates: Insurance premiums are likely to increase significantly following a DUI conviction.

How an Underage DUI Defense Attorney Can Help

Having an experienced Columbia Underage DUI Defense Attorney on your side can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your child's case. Here's how we can help:

  • Legal Expertise: We have a deep understanding of South Carolina's DUI laws and can identify potential legal defenses and strategies to minimize the impact of the charges.
  • Negotiation Skills: We can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges or penalties.
  • Protecting Rights: We ensure that your child's rights are upheld throughout the legal process, from arrest to trial.
  • Minimizing Consequences: Our goal is to help minimize the immediate and long-term consequences of an underage DUI conviction.

At the Law Office of Patrick C. Sharpe, LLC, we are committed to defending Columbia's youth against underage DUI charges. We understand the unique challenges these cases present and are dedicated to providing compassionate, effective legal representation.

If your child is facing underage DUI charges, don't hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation. We are here to guide you through the legal process and fight for your child's future.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick C. Sharpe, LLC, today at (803) 721-4615 to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards protecting your child's future.





He kept me informed about all of my options as well as ensured I received the best results.

- Andre B.
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