I’ve Been Hurt in a Greenwood DUI Accident. What Are My Rights?

A Greenwood DUI accident can be a painful and traumatic event. The crash can result in serious property damage, permanent injuries, and even death. It’s normal to feel bewildered and angry over the events that resulted in the collision, especially if the at-fault driver was impaired at the time of the crash. Filing a claim after such an incident is different to a regular personal injury claim for several reasons. Below, we explore a few frequently asked questions and about DUI’s.

How Many Drinks Can Someone Have Before They Reach the Legal Limit?

The amount of drinks a person can have before they reach the legal limit depends on the drinker’s weight and gender, and whether or not the person has eaten while drinking since food can reduce the amount of alcohol that the body absorbs. A person who has been drinking may not be able to accurately judge how drunk they are or if they are able to safely drive. When a person has been drinking, it is better to arrange for alternative transportation. In some states, there are additional punishments and penalties for being over the legal limit and getting behind the wheel. In South Carolina, the additional punishments start with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent.

How Dangerous is a Greenwood DUI Accident?

In 2014 alone, the state saw 757 fatal accidents and 824 deaths. Of those incidents, 279 people were victims of a DUI.

How Do SC Police Collect Evidence in Greenwood DUI Accident Cases?

After the collision, or pulling a vehicle over, the police will determine whether or not the driver is over the legal blood alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs. The police will administer a chemical test, usually a breathalyzer test, but it may also be a urine or blood test, which will determine whether or not the driver is over the legal limit.

Can a South Carolina Driver Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?

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Technically, a driver may refuse to take a chemical test. However, the law in our state dictates that if someone is behind the wheel of a car, that driver automatically gives permission for a chemical test. Should the driver refuse to take a test, the driver will face similar penalties to those if they had taken the test with regard to losing their driver’s license.

Are There Criminal Penalties for a Greenwood DUI?

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but if a driver is convicted of driving under the influence, the punishment will depend on the state’s laws. Usually, there is a gradient of punishments depending on whether it is the driver’s first offense and can include both administrative and criminal penalties.

In our state, the punishments are most commonly as follows:

  • 6-months suspended license, a fine, and a minimum of 48 hours of jail time or community service for first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.08% or higher;
  • Suspended license, fine of between $2,100 and $5,100, and a jail sentence of a minimum of 5 days if it is a second offense;
  • A fine of $3,800 up to $6,300 and up to three years imprisonment for a third offense, as well as indefinite license suspension

It should be noted that if it is a second or subsequent offense, the Greenwood DUI accident driver will have to have an ignition interlock device installed in their car. The device is mounted to their dashboard and requires the driver to take a breathalyzer test each time they get behind the wheel.

Furthermore, a driver that is convicted of a DUI has to pay a reinstatement fee, take out special insurance coverage, and pass an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action program. The driver will also have to take a driving skills test if they wish to reinstate their license.

What If the Impaired Driver is Underage?

The legal alcohol limit for a driver under 21 years of age in 0.02%. Such drivers may also be subject to criminal charges and can lose their licenses for between 3 to 6 months.

How Long Does a Victim Have to Bring a Claim?

In the state of South Carolina, there is no civil law or claim for DUI incidents. Rather, victims can file a wrongful death, personal injury, or a property damage claim, depending on the circumstances of the collision. In most instances, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the crash.

Can the Fact That the At-Fault Driver was Impaired Affect the Claim?

If one is in an accident with an intoxicated driver and files a personal injury claim, the chances of receiving a fair settlement tend to be high. It is often easier to prove negligence and recklessness for drivers under the influence since the driver chose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Furthermore, drunk drivers do not generate as much sympathy with juries should the case go to trial. But, it is important to consult with an attorney and not try to resolve the claim alone. There is a range of different kinds of coverages and amounts that a victim may be entitled to receive of which the victim may not be aware, and the liability insurance company may not inform the victim of such damages. No matter how pleasant an insurance company may seem, it is never on the victim’s side. These companies aim to drive profit, and they are not concerned with how an accident has affected a driver and the driver’s family.

Talk to Greenwood DUI Accident Attorney Today

After being hurt in a Greenwood DUI accident, it is natural for the victim to want justice and financial compensation. Filing a property damage, personal injury, or wrongful death claim may be the way to achieve that for a victim. The attorneys at Ayers, Smithdeal, and Bettis can assist with the process of filing claims, collecting evidence, and appearing in court so that victims can seek peace of mind along with financial restitution. Contact us for a consultation and to learn more about the law on DUI in South Carolina.

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