Lead Counsel: Paul Thurmond


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, South Carolina has highest percentage of traffic deaths involving drunk driving in the entire nation. Given these statistics, law enforcement officers in our area have become increasingly tougher on drunk drivers. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious and dangerous offense in the state of South Carolina.

If you are a first-time offender convicted of driving under the influence in South Carolina, the penalties for this crime may include license suspension, monetary fines or as many as 90 days in jail. You may also be required to complete an alcohol and drug safety program. If convicted the charge will also appear on your criminal history and can be seen in any background check, your car insurance rate will likely change, and you might have to install an interlock ignition device into your vehicle. A DUI charge can have a huge impact on your life and on those who depend on you. Call the law office of Thurmond, Kirchner & Timbes now to set up a consultation about your pending DUI or DUAC charges.

Our experienced and diligent attorneys have handled many different types of DUI cases and are highly successful at negotiating with police officers and prosecuting attorneys. Thurmond, Kirchner & Timbes have repeatedly managed cases where DUI charges have been dismissed or reduced due to our shrewd legal representation. Even when the defendant is found guilty, a knowledgeable South Carolina attorney can argue for a reduced sentence and even help you avoid jail time.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

If you have been charged with a DUI in South Carolina based on the results of a blood alcohol test you need an experienced criminal law attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. BAC or blood alcohol content is a unit of measurement that indicates how much alcohol is in your bloodstream at the time the test is administered. The legal blood alcohol content limit in South Carolina is .08%. However, if you are under the age of 21 the limit in our state is .02%. Or if you possess a CDL driver’s license the limit is .04%. Just because you are facing a DUI charge and had BAC results above the legal limit, that does not mean you are automatically guilty. Tests such as blood or breathalyzer analysis used to measure BAC are sometimes inaccurate. Blood alcohol tests and field sobriety tests must also be administered according to the exact specifications of South Carolina law. Police officers are required to follow these procedures completely and often fail to do so correctly.

The knowledgeable attorneys at TKT have an extensive knowledge of this process and will be able to stand up for you if your rights have been violated. At the law firm of Thurmond Kirchner and Timbes, we will evaluate your situation individually and ensure that the evidence was obtained correctly and legally. Our experienced team of DUI attorneys can explore all available options to see if the test was administered incorrectly or if the results may have been misinterpreted. Our legal defense team is extremely knowledgeable in DUI cases and we know how to build the best defense for your situation.

Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test may also have negative consequences. If you were pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence and refused to submit to a breathalyzer you may have your license suspended for a period of up to six months. If this happened to you, the lawyers at TKT may be able to help.

You may also be arrested for DUI if the law enforcement officer believes you to be under the influence of illegal drugs while operating a motor vehicle. That is, even if you are administered a BAC test which produces no positive results, it is still possible that you will be charged. It is up to the law enforcement officer’s discretion whether to make an arrest when they stop an individual who appears visibly intoxicated or impaired. In these situations, it is essential to have a qualified defense attorney review the validity of the state’s evidence and defend your case.

Pleading Guilty to a DUI

Sometimes a defendant may choose to plead guilty to the charges rather than go to trial. Although this might be an effective option for some cases, you should not agree to a guilty plea or conviction without speaking to an experienced defense attorney first. Instead of representing yourself, a skilled attorney can negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to help you get the best outcome for your situation. Even if you think that you are guilty, an attorney may review your case and see that your rights may have been violated and the evidence cannot be entered into court. Do not plead guilty unless you have spoken with a skilled attorney who can review the specifics of your case. Even if you do want to plead guilty you need an experienced attorney to guide you throughout the process. An attorney from Thurmond Kirchner and Timbes can make sure your rights are protected throughout the entire process and look out for your best interest.

DUI vs. DUAC- What is the Difference?

DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and is the most common drunk driving charge. South Carolina also has a similar charge known as a DUAC, which stands for “driving with unlawful alcohol concentration.” These two charges are extremely similar, however, for a DUI conviction the prosecuting attorney must prove the Defendant’s impairment. This may be proven using BAC evidence, for a DUAC they just must prove that you were operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, even if your motor skills were not necessarily impacted. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI or DUAC in Edgefield, you need a defense attorney who you can trust to be on your side.

Drunk Driving Accidents

If you were involved in a car accident while driving under the influence it is imperative that you find a good attorney familiar with South Carolina law. TKT are ready to defend you against any type of drunk driving related charge, including accidents resulting in property damage, physical injury, or even death. If you were arrested in connection with a car accident caused by driving under the influence, you need a skilled attorney on your side. Depending on your case, the injured party may also choose to press civil charges against you in addition to criminal charges pressed by the state. Thurmond, Kirchner & Timbes can provide you will full service representation related to your accident, including both criminal and civil litigation defense.

Aggravating Circumstances

Though all DUI charges are serious, some cases may have additional circumstances that could increase the penalties if convicted. TKT is prepared to represent individuals who have been accused of driving under the influence in all cases, including circumstances involving repeat offenders, reckless driving, minor children in the vehicle, or BAC of over 0.12%. The more complex your DUI case is, the more necessary it becomes for you to have competent legal representation. The attorneys at Thurmond, Kirchner and Timbes are familiar with the Edgefield court system, law enforcement officers, and prosecuting attorneys. We will use our abilities to navigate the criminal justice system in order to provide the best possible outcome for your unique case.

Beyond DUI Charges

We understand that facing criminal charges is a truly difficult experience, and our aim at TKT is to make the process as painless as possible. In addition to the actual criminal DUI or DUAC charges, typical drunk driving cases also involve administrative matters that our attorneys are happy to help with. We can guide you through every step of the process, including:

  • Fighting vehicle forfeitures
  • Other criminal charges, drug arrest or traffic ticket
  • Having driving privileges reinstated
  • Fighting license revocations
  • Restoring driver’s licenses, including referral to the required Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)

Proudly Serving In: Charleston | Aiken | Edgefield | Johnston | McCormick | North Augusta | Saluda | Trenton

Thurmond Kirchner and Timbes Law Firm