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South Carolina DUI Penalties

For every conviction for driving under the influence, there are mandatory penalties. That means that if you are found guilty, or if you plead guilty or no contest to your South Carolina DUI charge, you will be subject to the basic penalty structure below. It is important to realize that every case is different, and there may be good reasons why you would be a candidate for the minimum or maximum penalty. For this reason, it is important to consult with a local South Carolina DUI attorney who practices in the county where your case is pending.Under the South Carolina DUI penalty statutes, the penalties that you may receive vary depending on several factors. The most important factors are 1) your alcohol level (BAC); and 2) whether you have prior DUI convictions, and if so, how many.

Here are the basics of the sentencing scheme. Be sure to check with a local SC DUI lawyer to learn what to expect in your case:

First Offense:

BAC < 0.10: If the driver's BAC was above 0.08 but below 0.10, the driver will be fined $400 and sentenced to between 2 and 30 days in jail, but if the court uses the minimum 2 day sentence, it can allow the driver to serve 48 hours of community service instead.0.10 < BAC < 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.10 but below 0.16, the driver will be fined $500 and sentenced to between 3 and 30 days in jail, but if the court uses the minimum 3 day sentence, it can allow the driver to serve 72 hours of community service instead.BAC > 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.16, the driver will be fined $1000 and sentenced to between 30 and 90 days in jail, but if the court uses the minimum 30 day sentence, it can allow the driver to serve 30 days of community service instead.

Second Offense:

BAC < 0.10: If the driver's BAC was above 0.08 but below 0.10, the driver will be fined between $2100 and $5100 and sentenced to between 5 days and 1 year in jail.0.10 < BAC < 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.10 but below 0.16, the driver will be fined between $2500 and $5500 and sentenced to between 30 days and 2 years in jail. BAC > 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.16, the driver will be fined between $3500 and $6500 and sentenced to between 90 days and 3 years in jail.

Third Offense:

BAC < 0.10: If the driver's BAC was above 0.08 but below 0.10, the driver will be fined between $3800 and $6300 and sentenced to between 60 days and 3 years in jail.0.10 < BAC < 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.10 but below 0.16, the driver will be fined between $5000 and $7500 and sentenced to between 90 days and 4 years in jail. BAC > 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.16, the driver will be fined between $7500 and $10,000 and sentenced to between 6 months and 5 years in jail.

Fourth Offense or greater:

BAC < 0.10: If the driver's BAC was above 0.08 but below 0.10, the driver will be sentenced to between 1 and 5 years in jail.0.10 < BAC < 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.10 but below 0.16, the driver will be sentenced to between 2 and 6 years in jail. BAC > 0.16: If the driver's BAC was above 0.16, the driver will be sentenced to between 3 and 7 years in jail.

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