DUI in South Carolina

Jan 21

DUI in South Carolina

Driving under the influence refers to the operation of a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. For those who have a commercial driver license, the percentage starts at 0.04. It is even stricter for those who are 21 years old below, where the percentage starts at 0.02. It is also important to note that you can still be arrested for drunk driving even if your blood alcohol concentration is within the allowed limit if the circumstances of your offense warrants so.

Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties for DUI depend on how high your blood alcohol concentration is and how many times you have committed the offense. For first offenses, you can pay a fine of up to $1,000 and go to jail for up to 90 days. For second offenses, the fine goes up to $6,500 and jail time of up to 3 years. For third offenses, the fine can reach up to $10,000 and jail time up to 5 years. The fourth and consecutive offenses have fines of up to $25,000 and jail time of up to 7 years.

Administrative Penalties

Aside from criminal penalties, you are also subject to administrative penalties, such as driver’s license suspension or revocation. The penalties are also based on your blood alcohol concentration and how many times you have committed the offense. For first to third offenses, suspension can go from 6 months up 4 years, especially if your offenses are within 5 years of each other. For fourth offenses, you can have your license revoked permanently, with the chance for reinstatement only after 7 years.

Ignition Interlock

An ignition interlock device is a device installed in the ignition system that monitors blood alcohol concentration. It prevents drivers from starting a vehicle while being under the influence. This device is required to be installed in your vehicle after a second offense. Installing, maintaining, and all operational costs will be shouldered by the person charged with DUI.

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