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What are the DUI Laws in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle. South Carolina punishes those driving under the influence severely, with potential jail time, steep fines, and license suspensions. Even if you have no prior offenses, the law does not make exceptions.

If you have been charged with a DUI, our Greenville DUI lawyers are ready to offer you assistance. We have years of experience protecting the rights of citizens just like yourself and are ready to give your case the attention it deserves.

First DUI Offense in SC

Even first-time offenders face severe consequences if convicted. South Carolina Code §56-5-2930 stipulates that a person who has no prior DUI offenses will have to pay $400 in fines and serve a mandatory 48-hour prison sentence, but not more than 30 days.

An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will determine punishment severity. For instance, a person with a BAC between 0.10% and 0.16% will face a mandatory fine of $500. Imprisonment will range from 72 hours to one month. Offenders with a BAC of 0.16% or greater will be fined $1,000, with a mandatory sentence of 30 days, with a maximum of 90 days.

First time offenders face a six-month license suspension. However, if it is your first offense and your BAC was .14% or less, you can apply for a provisional license or “hardship” license. If the provisional license is granted, you will be restricted on where you can travel.

Second DUI Offense in SC

A second-time offender may be fined $2,100 to $5,100. The accused will be sentenced to a mandatory five days in jail, with the potential to be incarcerated for one year. A second offense carries a one-year license suspension.

However, if the offender’s BAC is 0.10% to 0.16%, then the individual will be fined anywhere from $2,500 to $5,500. With this elevated BAC, the offender will be sentenced to at least 30 days in prison, with a maximum of two years.

If the motorist has a BAC of 0.16% or greater, then the fine will increase to $3,500-$6,500. Mandatory imprisonment will be 90 days, with the potential for three years.

Third DUI Offense in SC

A third-time offender will be fined between $3,800 and $6,300. Incarceration will range from 60 days to three years. A third-time offender will have his or her license suspended for two years. However, if the third offense happens within five years of the first offense, there will be a four-year license suspension.

With a BAC of 0.10% to 0.16%, fines will be between $5,000-$7,500, with imprisonment of 90 days to four years.

If the offender has a BAC above 0.16%, then fines will range between $7,500-$10,000. Mandatory incarceration will consist of six months, with the potential of five years in prison.

Fourth DUI Offense in SC

For a fourth or subsequent offense, an individual may be imprisoned for one to five years. For a BAC reading of 0.10% to 0.16%, the accused will be incarcerated for two to six years. With a BAC above 0.16%, the offender will be incarcerated for three to seven years.

A fourth-time offender will face permanent license revocation.

What is a Habitual Traffic Offender Charge in South Carolina?

Someone who has accumulated 10 or more convictions within a three year period for traffic violations. Some offenses that fall under this charge are: DUI’s, reckless homicide, manslaughter, exceeding speed limits, and more. Consequences for being a HTO in South Carolina include losing your license, fines and possible jail time.

No Time to Waste! Contact a Greenville DUI Defense Lawyer Immediately

South Carolina law does not go lightly on DUI offenders. One simple mistake can result in a criminal record, ruining your reputation and livelihood. If you have been charged with a DUI, we may be able to help you beat the charge or get the charge reduced. To schedule your free consultation, contact us today online or by phone.