South Carolina is working hard to reduce DUIs -- the fatality rate from alcohol-related
accidents has dropped 40% in the past decade. Below we list the penalties for a first
offense and the associated administrative penalties assessed by the state
licensing bureau. Note that aggravating factors such as having a child in the
car or having a BAC over .15, may affect penalties.
- First offense DUI carries
mandatory administrative license suspension of six (6) months, unless
otherwise successfully contested in an administrative hearing
- First offense refusals to submit
under implied consent laws carry a comparable mandatory license suspension
of six (6) months
- Reinstatement of license
contingent upon completion of alcohol/substance abuse assessment and
counseling in limited circumstances. Also, first offense convictions carry
possibility of required installation of ignition
interlock device upon reinstatement of driving privileges
How Much Will it Cost?
To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.
- First offense DUI penalties are
applied based on BAC of offender at time of arrest. If BAC .08% to .10%,
offender faces mandatory incarceration of two (2) days up to maximum of
thirty (30) days. If BAC above .10% to less than .16%, offender faces mandatory
incarceration of at least three (3) days with maximum of thirty (30) days.
If BAC above .16%, offender faces incarceration of at least thirty (30)
days, but not more than ninety (90) days
- In all cases, incarceration may be
avoided via public service employment for first time offenders
- Fines range from $400 to $1,000
depending on BAC, and in turn, fines do not include costs incurred during
completion of terms of sentence, process of license reinstatement, or
additional fees and surcharges assessed
- Conviction of first offense DUI in
South Carolina will influence subsequent arrests and convictions for DUI
for a period of ten (10) years
Getting Legal Help
State statutes in South Carolina bar reducing DUI charges into
lesser criminal offenses, however, offenders will may have an opportunity for pleading
down sentencing or working towards dismissal of all charges. For more
information and insight, consult with a South Carolina DUI lawyer.