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South Carolina DUI Laws, Fines and Penalties

In South Carolina, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is set at 0.08% for drivers
over 21 years of age and it is set at 0.02% for those under 21. For commercial drivers,
the limit is set at 0.04%.Having a South Carolina license automatically provides your
consent to be tested if stopped by a law enforcement officer, while driving. This is the
law of "implied consent" and can be used by the officer to test you if you are stopped on
the suspicion of drunk driving, either through a breathalyzer test or by an actual blood
test to check the BAC. Refusing to take the chemical test will result in your license being
revoked for a year.

Points will be added to your driving record and your licence will be suspended or
revoked, if you convicted of DUI/DWI. The number of points assessed, depend on the
severity of the offense and the number of times you have been convicted for it.

There is no plea bargain for a conviction of "wet reckless" (reckless driving involving
alcohol) which is barred by statute in South Carolina.

 

1st Drunk Driving Offense

DUI fines and penalties in South Carolina vary according to the Blood Alcohol Content
(BAC) of the driver when arrested. It is against the law to drive with a BAC above .08.

 

First DUI Conviction

With a Blood Alcohol Content Under .10

• License Suspension - 6 Months

• Fine - $400

• Jail – Minimum of 48 Hours – Maximum of 30 Days, or

• 48 Hours of Public Service Employment

 

With a Blood Alcohol Content .10 and Under .16

• License Suspension - 6 Months

• Fine - $500

• Jail – Minimum of 72 Hours – Maximum of 30 Days, or

• 72 Hours of Public Service Employment

 

With a Blood Alcohol Content Above .16

• License Suspension - 6 Months

• Fine - $1,000

• Jail – Minimum of 30 Days – Maximum of 90 Days, or

• 30 Days of Public Service Employment

 

South Carolina has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a
chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension

 

1st Offense

2d Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to take test 6 month license suspension 9 month license suspension 1 year license suspension

Look back Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing.)

 

2nd Drunk Driving Offense

Second DUI Conviction

Blood Alcohol Content Under .10

• License Suspension - 1 Year

• Fine $2,100-$5,100

• Jail – Minimum 5 Days- Maximum 1 Year

 

Blood Alcohol Content .10 and Under .16

• License Suspension - 1 Year

• Fine $2,500-$5,500

• Jail – Minimum 30 Days- Maximum 2 Years

 

Blood Alcohol Content Above .16

• License Suspension - 1 Year

• Fine $3,500-$6,500

• Jail – Minimum 90 Days- Maximum 3 Years

 

Multiple convictions for drunk driving may also result in a court ordered installation of
an ignition interlock system on your vehicle at the convicted driver’s expense. You may
also be ordered to a alcohol or drug intervention program. The Department of Motor
Vehicles will publish and release the names of all drivers who have had their license
suspended because of a DUI.

 

3rd DUI Offense

Third Drunk Driving Conviction

 

Blood Alcohol Content Under .10

• License Suspension - 2 Years

• Fine $3,800-$6,300

• Jail – Minimum 60 Days- Maximum 3 Years

 

Blood Alcohol Content .10 and Under .16

• License Suspension - 2 Years

• Fine $5,000-$7,500

• Jail – Minimum 90 Days- Maximum 4 Years

 

Blood Alcohol Content Above .16

• License Suspension - 2 Years

• Fine $7,500-$10,000

• Jail – Minimum 6 Months - Maximum 5 Years

 

4th DUI Offense

Fourth Drunk Driving Conviction

 

Blood Alcohol Content Under .10

• Permanent License Revocation

• Jail – Minimum 1 Year - Maximum 5 Years

 

Blood Alcohol Content .10 and Under .16

• Permanent License Revocation

• Jail – Minimum 2 Years - Maximum 6 Years

 

Blood Alcohol Content Above .16

• Permanent License Revocation

• Jail – Minimum 3 Years - Maximum 7 Years

 


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