A DUI can lead to severe penalties in some states. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people in the United States die from an accident involving a drunk driver every day. It means that there is one death every 50 minutes. The center also notes that alcohol-impaired crashes cost about $44 billion yearly.
The frequent nature of accidents caused by alcohol-impaired driving is the reason most states have strict DUI laws. South Carolina is one such state that frowns greatly at drivers operating their vehicles at 0.08% or higher. To curb the menace of drunk driving on roadways, South Carolina imposed strict DUI penalties for those driving while impaired.
If you have been charged with a DUI or are prone to drinking and driving, it is wise to know what you are up against. Our Orangeburg DUI defense lawyers are available to answer all your questions. We will also provide you with excellent representation.
What Is the Penalty for DUI in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, there are two separate laws intended to keep drivers from driving their vehicle while impaired. If impaired due to alcohol, you face a DUI charge. This is because the law infers intoxication once your BAC is at 0.08% or more. Note that if you have a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08%, you can still get charged with DUI if your driving shows that you are “demonstrably impaired.”
Another charge that the law provides for is a DUAC (driving with unlawful alcohol concentration). While DUAC is technically not the same charge as a DUI, they carry the same DUI penalty. DUI Lawyers sometimes use the terms interchangeably. Also, the state will consider any prior DUI or DUAC conviction when determining future liabilities.
Driving While Under the Influence Penalties in South Carolina
If found guilty of a DUI or DUAC charge in South Carolina, you stand the chance of getting any of these DUI penalties depending on the presence of any previous conviction.
First Offense (Misdemeanor)
- $400 fine or 2-30 days in jail and a 6-month license suspension for less than 0.10% BAC
- $5,00 fine or 3-30 days in jail and 6-month license suspension for 0.10% to 0.16% BAC
- $1000 fine or 30-90 days in jail and 6-month license suspension for above 0.16% BAC
Second Offense (Misdemeanor)
- $2,100 to $5,100 fine, five days to one year in jail, and 1-year license suspension for less than 0.10% BAC
- $2,500 to $5,400 fine, 30 days to two years in jail, and 1-year license suspension for 0.10% to 0.16% BAC.
- $3,500 to $6,500 fine, 90 days to three years in jail, and 1-year license suspension for above 0.16% BAC
Third Offense (Misdemeanor)
- $3,800 to $6,300 fine, 60 days to three years in jail, and a 2-year license suspension for less than 0.10% BAC
- $5,000 to $7,500 fine, 90 days to four years in jail, and a 2-year license suspension for 0.10% to 0.16% BAC
- $7,500 to $10,000 fine, six months to five years in jail, and a 2-year license suspension for above 0.16% BAC
Fourth Offense (Felony)
- 1-5 years in jail with no option of fine and permanent license revocation for less than 0.10% BAC
- 2-6 years in jail with no option of fine and permanent license revocation for 0.10% to 0.16% BAC
- 3-7 years in jail with no option of fine and permanent license revocation for above 0.16% BAC
Are There Factors That Impact Sentencing?
While the South Carolina penalty is clear, sentencing varies and depends on the merits of each case. Here are things to keep in mind:
- A first offender might get community service in place of fines or jail time.
- For a second offense, the court might issue a suspension of the sentence and order you to pay a minimum assessment fine of $1,100.
- If the third offense is within five years of the second offense, the license suspension doubles to four years.
- The court will order the installation of an ignition interlock device after a second or third offense. It will be at your expense.
What Can an Orangeburg DUI Defense Lawyer Do for You?
Going into a DUI trial without legal representation is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. Our experienced Orangeburg DUI defense attorneys know the in and out of the defense system. We are your best bet at a sentence reduction and getting back to the life you know. Your interest mirrors ours, and we will do all we can to help you. Schedule a free consultation with us today.