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South Carolina DUI Laws

If you need a DUI lawyer that has years of experience and is nationally acclaimed for their case execution, then you have come to the right place. Finding the perfect DUI lawyer in South Carolina that matches your needs best is easy with our help. On our site, you will even find in-depth DUI lawyer profiles to help you select an attorney that can represent your particular case. The best DUI lawyers in South Carolina are just a click away!

In the state of South Carolina, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher for motorists over the age of 21. Anyone found guilty of this offense will be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. For minors and commercial drivers, the BAC limit is lower. Minors (motorists under 21 years of age) can be arrested for driving under the influence, DUI, if their BAC level is .02 percent or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers need only have a BAC of .04 percent to get charged with DUI.

South Carolina DUI laws also extend to drug use. Anyone caught driving while under the influence of any controlled substance such as marijuana or cocaine will be arrested for DUI.

The state takes DUIs very seriously and imposes pre-conviction penalties for those who are found driving with a BAC level above .08 percent. These motorists will have their license suspended for 30 days regardless of what their criminal trial punishments will be for a first DUI offense and the penalties will increase with every subsequent offense.

Special DUI Law

South Carolina is unique in the sense that all DUI arrests must be videotaped by the arresting officer. Any breath tests must also be taped. If a breath test videotape is not completed within 3 hours, the breath test will not count in court. Additionally, the arresting officer must be seen on film reading the motorist their Miranda rights, informing the motorist of the video recording and must also be taped letting the motorist know that they can refuse the test. If the video is not taped properly according to DUI laws, the entire case can be thrown out in court.

Penalties for DUI Offenders in South Carolina

In South Carolina, DUI penalties are dispensed depending on BAC level and previous DUI convictions. The following are the types of punishments that motorists convicted of DUI in South Carolina can expect to incur:

1st DUI Conviction

• BAC under .08 percent
o Imprisonment from 48 hours to 30 days or 48 hours public service
o Fine of $400
o Driver’s license suspended for 6 months
• BAC from .08-.16 percent
o Imprisonment from 72 hours to 30 days or 72 hours public service
o Fine of $500
o Driver’s license suspended for 6 months
• BAC above .16 percent
o Imprisonment from 30 to 90 days or 30 days public service
o Fine of $1,000
o Driver’s license suspended for 6 months

2nd DUI Conviction

• BAC under .10 percent
o Imprisonment from 5 days to 1 year
o Fine of $2,100-$5,100
o Driver’s license suspended for 1 year
• BAC from .10-.16 percent
o Imprisonment from 30 days to 2 years
o Fine of $2,500-$5,500
o Driver’s license suspended for 1 year
• BAC above .16 percent
o Imprisonment from 90 days to 3 years
o Fine $3,500-$6,500
o Driver’s license suspended 1 year

3rd DUI Conviction

• BAC under .10 percent
o Imprisonment from 60 days to 3 years
o Fine of $3,800-$6,300
o Driver’s license suspended for 2 years
• BAC from .10-.16 percent
o Imprisonment from 90 days to 4 years
o Fine of $5,000-$7,500
o Driver’s license suspended for 2 years
• BAC above .16 percent
o Imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years
o Fine of $7,500-$10,000
o Driver’s license suspended 2 years

4th DUI Conviction – Felony

• BAC under .10 percent
o Imprisonment from 1 to 5 years
o Driver’s license permanently suspended
• BAC from .10-.16 percent
o Imprisonment from 2 to 6 years
o Driver’s license permanently suspended
• BAC above .16 percent
o Imprisonment from 3 to 7 years
o Driver’s license permanently suspended

A motorist found guilty of DUI may also be ordered to install an interlock ignition device on their vehicles.

South Carolina Implied Consent Laws

In South Carolina, the implied consent law states that any motorist who drives on state roadways must submit to a chemical test to determine intoxication. A chemical test can be performed on either a blood, breath or urine sample. If a motorist were to refuse such test, their license will be suspended immediately for 90 days. The motorist can also still be charged with DUI if the arresting officer is able to prove that the motorist was intoxicated at the time of arrest – even without a chemical test.

Getting Help from a DUI Lawyer in South Carolina

A DUI can affect a motorist’s life forever for the worse. If you have been charged with DUI in South Carolina, get help from a top DUI lawyer immediately. Many times, motorists are unfairly charged with driving under the influence but when you work with a skilled DUI lawyer, you will never be convicted of a crime you did not commit. You have rights and your South Carolina DUI attorney will make sure they are upheld. Call the office of a leading team of DUI lawyers in South Carolina today to ensure the best possible outcome of your case.