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"Sober or Slammer!" kicks off, focuses on DUIs in South Carolina

With Labor Day and other holidays approaching, it's a good time to talk about driving under the influence and how it affects traveling. In South Carolina, the "Sober or Slammer!" campaign is running from the end of August through Sept. 7, and it aims to reduce the number of people who drink and drive. Taking dangerous drivers off the road is the goal, so that others can get where they need to go safely.

The Sober or Slammer! campaign happens across the state and has all levels of law enforcement, from state troopers to local police, working together to clear the roads of drunk drivers.

In 2019, around 22,000 DUI arrests were made. As a result, the authorities are taking greater steps to prevent drunk driving. That means that you should be cautious. If you appear to be impaired, you could end up being stopped as a part of this active campaign.

What are the penalties for driving under the influence in South Carolina?

If you are caught with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08% or are impaired by other substances, then you could face significant fines and imprisonment. On a first offense, you face fines of up to $400, with additional assessment fees and surcharges raising the total to $992. You also face imprisonment and may spend up to 30 days in jail for the offense. A first offense also leads to a suspension of your driver's license for six months.

A second charge and conviction results in fines totaling around $10,744.50 after fees, surcharges and assessments. You can be imprisoned for up to a year, and you may lose your license for a year.

For third DUI offenses, the fines are even higher, totaling around $13,234.50. Additionally, you may lose your license for two years and face up to three years in prison. If this offense happens within five years of your first offense, then you could lose your license for four years. If it's within 10 years of the first offense, your vehicle will be confiscated.

Any fourth offense leads to up to five years in prison and the permanent revocation of the driver's license.

As you can see, the penalties are harsh. Be cautious, and avoid driving if you've had anything to drink. If you're stopped for a DUI, you could face serious consequences.

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