The simple answer is that a DUI charge is based on your driving, while a DUAC charge is based on your blood-alcohol concentration. However, the penalties for DUI and DUAC are the same. You want to avoid a conviction for either one.

To obtain a DUI conviction, the solicitor’s office must prove that you drove while “materially and appreciably impaired” by alcohol or drugs (or both). In such a case, the arresting officer may testify that he or she saw you weaving within your lane, crossing the centerline or engaging in some other form of questionable driving.

To obtain a DUAC conviction, the solicitor’s office must show that a breath, blood or urine test showed that your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) when you were arrested exceeded the legal limit. This is a BAC reading of 0.08 percent or more.

If you are younger than age 21, which is the legal drinking age in South Carolina, then a 0.02 percent BAC is an unlawful alcohol concentration. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a BAC of 0.04 percent is unlawful.

Neither charge – DUI or DUAC – means an automatic conviction. If you have been charged with either one in South Carolina’s Upstate, a Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins defense attorney can help you.

Posted in: DUI / DUAC FAQs