Review the South Carolina DUI penalties

| Nov 9, 2020 | DUI

South Carolina law categorizes most DUIs as misdemeanor offenses. However, a conviction can still result in jail time as well as fines and other penalties. Law enforcement can arrest drivers who display impairment or have blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above.

Review the legal consequences for driving under the influence in South Carolina.

First offense

If the person has no history of DUI within the past 10 years, he or she could receive:

  • Up to $992 in fines and court fees
  • At least 48 hours and up to 30 days in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for six months

Additional penalties apply if the driver refuses a breath test or has an open container at the scene of the arrest.

Second offense

If the person has one prior DUI within the past 10 years, penalties may include:

  • Up to $10,744 in fines and court fees
  • At least 48 hours and up to one year in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for 12 months

Third offense

A third DUI conviction in 10 years carries:

  • Up to $13,234 in fines and court fees
  • At least 60 days and up to three years in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for 12 months

Subsequent DUI charges will result in permanent driver’s license revocation. The person will also serve a minimum of one year and up to five years in prison.

In addition to these misdemeanor charges, South Carolina imposes felony DUI in situations involving serious bodily injury or death. A convicted person could receive fines of up to $21,000 and 15 years in prison for bodily injury and double those penalties for wrongful death.