Will You Be Held Liable for a DUI Arrest on Private Property in Charleston?

People find it hard to believe a DUI arrest on private property in Charleston. One can get arrested in a parking lot or worse, even in one’s driveway. It doesn’t necessarily have to always be on an open road. This article helps you understand how DUI arrests happen and the consequences one could suffer, and everything else related to that.

In Charleston, a driver will be held responsible even if the incident takes place on private property. It doesn’t matter if you’re on private or public property, an offense will be strictly dealt with. The Law Enforcement Authorities in Charleston have the legal right to investigate if the authorities manage to show enough evidence that the concerned driver was driving under the influence of alcohol, even when the DUI happened to take place on private property.

DUI Arrest on Private Property in Charleston

Places, where people think they can get away with DUI charges include golf courses, convenience stores, and parking lots.

Golf Courses

You can still get charged with DUI driving a golf cart. A golf cart can be considered a motor vehicle, so one must be careful even while driving a golf cart. The court can bend the rules and make a case that you’re driving it on a driveaway and get you charged.

Convenience Store and Parking Lots

The law makes no distinction between crimes committed on private land and those committed on public roadways. You can get charged on private property which is accessible to other vehicles.

What Are Criminal Charges If You Are Arrested for a DUI on Private Property in Charleston? 

Just because there isn’t a witness present or nothing serious happened doesn’t make driving under the influence less illegal. They must be dealt with. The criminal penalties don’t change. According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, the minimum criminal penalties for a DUI with a BAC of less than 0.16 percent are as follows.

For a 1st offense, you may face:

  • A fine of $400
  • Minimum 48 hours in jail
  • Maximum up to 30 days of jail time
  • And/or 48 hours of community service

For a 2nd offense, you may face:

  • A fine of $2,100 to $5,100
  • Minimum 5 days in jail
  • Maximum up to 1 year in jail

For a 3rd offense, you may face:

  • A fine of $3,800 to $6,300
  • Minimum 60 days in jail
  • Maximum up to 3 years in jail

For a 4th and subsequent offense, you may face:

  • A fine determined by the court
  • Minimum 1 year in jail
  • Maximum up to 5 years in jail

NOTE: If you are arrested in Charleston on suspicion of DUI/DWI and refuse to take a BAC/breathalyzer test, you will face comparable penalties to those listed above. *A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16 percent or above will result in increased fines and jail time.

Ignition Interlock in Charleston

An ignition interlock device connected to your vehicle’s ignition system is used to test your blood alcohol content (BAC) before you start your car. The consequences of being convicted of a second or subsequent DUI/DWI are:

  • You will be compelled to use an ignition interlock device.
  • Your license will be suspended for three years if you refuse to have an IID placed when you need to have one to drive.
  • You will be responsible for all installation, maintenance, and monitoring costs.
  • Every 60 days, the Charleston Department of Probation, Pardon, and Parole will inspect your IID.

What Role Can Circumstantial Evidence Play In A DUI Arrest On A Private Property In Charleston? 

The law enforcement authorities will make use of the circumstantial evidence when it involves a DUI arrest. Circumstantial evidence includes instances like you being in the driver’s seat with keys in the ignition, your car was running, or the engine was still hot when officers entered the scene. All these can act as circumstantial evidence that the authorities can use to charge you with a DUI.

Having said that, the prosecution will still suffer the responsibility to provide the evidence and the proof for them to get you charged. If they can successfully prove that you were driving under the influence, you will most certainly get charged with a DUI arrest on private property in Charleston, and you must be ready to face the consequences. It is essential to contact a DUI defense lawyer to help you sort out things and deal with them legally without making it worse.

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