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Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
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Charleston Family Law Attorney Charleston Divorce Lawyer Charleston Criminal Attorney Charleston DUI Lawyer
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If you'd like for us to send you an email when the book is updated, please fill out and send this form.
Charleston Family Law Attorney Charleston Divorce Lawyer Charleston Criminal Attorney Charleston DUI Lawyer
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If you'd like for us to send you an email when the book is updated, please fill out and send this form.
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If you'd like for us to send you an email when the book is updated, please fill out and send this form.
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
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Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
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Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
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Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If you'd like for us to send you an email when the book is updated, please fill out and send this form.
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If you'd like for us to send you an email when the book is updated, please fill out and send this form.
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
If you'd like for us to send you an email when the book is updated, please fill out and send this form.
Futeral & Nelson 843-284-5500 1004 Anna Knapp Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
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How Many Drinks Does It Take to Be Over the Legal Limit in South Carolina?

  • Blood Alcohol Limits in South Carolina ▪ DUI Attorneys in Charleston

As a Charleston DUI lawyer, I occasionally get asked about how many drinks it takes to be over the legal limit in South Carolina. Whether you’re over the limit depends on whether you’re male or female, your weight, the types of drinks you had, and how many you drank within how much time. To help you estimate whether you’ve consumed too much alcohol to operate your vehicle, I’ve prepared these handy charts for you to get an approximate idea. As you can see from the charts below, it doesn’t take many drinks for an averaged sized female (2 to 3 drinks) or an averaged sized male (3 to 4 drinks) to reach the legal limit.

The Legal Limit for DUI in South Carolina

Under South Carolina law, the legal BA (blood / alcohol) limits are:

(1) Less than .05 – It is conclusively presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol.

(2) Greater than .05 but less than .08 – No inference whether the person was under the influence of alcohol, but that fact may be considered with other evidence in determining the guilt or innocence of the person.

(3) Greater than .08 – It may be inferred that the person was under the influence of alcohol.

Driving With An Unlawful Alcohol Concentration

Until recently, almost ever other state, other than South Carolina, has had a “per se” law whereby it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you exceed the requisite alcohol concentration. In other words, if a driver’s BAC is above the legal limit, that alone is a crime and there is no need to present other evidence to the court that the driver was impaired (as mentioned above). South Carolina adopted a similar law. Our law states:

It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle within this State while his alcohol concentration is eight one-hundredths of one percent or more. A person who violates the provisions of this

[statute] is guilty of the offense of Driving With An Unlawful Alcohol Concentration.

The prosecution has the choice of convicting a driver for DUI (proof of impairment which may include proof of BAC) or for DUAC (proof of BAC .08 or greater and the driver is guilty). However, a driver can only be prosecuted for DUAC if the breath (or blood) test is performed within two hours of the time of arrest and probable cause (a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime) existed to justify the traffic stop. A driver cannot be prosecuted for DUAC if the driver was stopped at a traffic road block or driver’s license check point. Further, a driver cannot be prosecuted for both DUI and DUAC for the same stop.

Estimated BAC for Females

FEMALES (.08 legal limit / < .05 presumed OK)

Number of Drinks

Body Weight 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
90 lb .053 .106 .159 .212 .265 .318 .371 .424 .477 .530 .583 .636
100 lbs .047 .094 .141 .188 .235 .282 .329 .376 .423 .470 .517 .564
110 lbs .042 .084 .126 .168 .210 .252 .294 .336 .378 .420 .482 .504
120 lbs .038 .076 .114 .152 .190 .228 .266 .304 .342 .380 .418 .456
130 lbs .036 .072 .108 .144 .180 .216 .228 .252 .324 .360 .396 .432
140 lbs .033 .066 .099 .132 .165 .198 .231 .264 .297 .330 .363 .396
150 lbs .031 .062 .093 .124 .155 .186 .217 .248 .279 .310 .341 .372
160 lbs .028 .056 .084 .112 .140 .168 .196 .224 .252 .280 .308 .336
170 lbs .027 .054 .081 .108 .135 .162 .189 .216 .243 .270 .297 .324
180 lbs .025 .052 .078 .104 .130 .156 .182 .208 .234 .260 .286 .312
190 lbs .025 .050 .075 .100 .125 .150 .175 .200 .225 .250 .275 .300
200 lbs .023 .046 .069 .092 .115 .138 .161 .184 .207 .230 .253 .276
210 lbs .022 .044 .066 .088 .110 .132 .154 .176 .198 .220 .242 .264

Estimated BAC for Males

MALES  (.08 legal limit / <.05 presumed OK)
Number of Drinks
Body Weight 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
100 lb .038 .075 .113 .150 .188 .225 .263 .300 .338 .375 ..413 .450
110 lbs .034 .066 .103 .137 .172 .207 .241 .275 .309 .344 .379 .412
120 lbs .031 .063 .094 .125 .156 .188 .219 .250 .281 .313 .344 .375
130 lbs .029 .058 .087 .116 .145 .174 .203 .232 .261 .290 .320 .348
140 lbs .027 .054 .080 .107 .134 .161 .188 .214 .241 .268 .295 .321
150 lbs .025 .050 .075 .100 .125 .151 .176 .201 .226 .251 .276 .301
160 lbs .023 .047 .070 .094 .117 .141 .164 .188 .211 .234 .258 .281
170 lbs .022 .045 .066 .088 .110 .132 .155 .178 .200 .221 .244 .265
180 lbs .021 .042 .063 .083 .104 .125 .146 .167 .188 .208 .229 .250
190 lbs .020 .040 .059 .079 .099 .119 .138 .158 .179 .198 .217 .237
200 lbs .019 .038 .056 .075 .094 .113 .131 .150 .169 .188 .206 .225
210 lbs .018 .036 .053 .071 .090 .107 .125 .143 .161 .179 .197 .214
220 lbs .017 .034 .051 .068 .085 .102 .119 .136 .153 .170 .188 .205
230 lb .016 .032 .049 .065 .081 .098 .115 .130 .147 .163 .180 .196
240 lb .016 .031 .047 .063 .078 .094 .109 .125 .141 .156 .172 .188

 

Estimated BAC Elimination Over One Hour

BAC Elimination Over Time

Number of Drinks Consumed in 1 Hour

Body Weight 1 2 3 4 5
1 Drink = 1 Jigger (1¼ oz.) of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. beer, or 4 oz. wine.Average Elimination = .015% per hour.08 legal limit; <.05 presumed OK
100 lb .038 .075 .113 .150 .188
120 lbs .031 .063 .094 .125 .156
140 lbs .027 .054 .080 .107 .134
160 lbs .023 .047 .070 .094 .117
180 lbs .021 .042 .063 .083 .104
200 lbs .019 .038 .056 .075 .094

 

Estimated BAC Elimination Over Three Hours 

BAC Elimination Over Time

Number of Drinks Consumed in 3 Hours

Body Weight 1 2 3 4 5
1 Drink = 1 Jigger (1¼ oz.) of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. beer, or 4 oz. wine.Average Elimination = .015% per hour.08 legal limit; <.05 presumed OK
100 lb .008 .045 .083 .120 .158
120 lbs .001 .033 .064 .095 .126
140 lbs .000 .024 .050 .077 .104
160 lbs .000 .017 .040 .074 .087
180 lbs .000 .012 .033 .053 .074
200 lbs .000 .008 .026 .045 .064

 

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DUI in South Carolina - Piecing It All Together

This FREE book for drivers has practical information on South Carolina’s laws and effective defense strategies including the laws of DUI & DUAC, the legal procedures, implied consent hearings, field sobriety tests, the DMT DataMaster breath test machine, the penalties & costs for a DUI, how to be an effective witness, and much more.

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Charleston DUI Attorneys

If you are charged with DUI in Charleston, contact the attorneys at Futeral & Nelson.

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