Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in South Carolina. A conviction for DUI involves costly fines, a driver’s license suspension and even a term of imprisonment in some cases. On top of that, you could even lose your vehicle if this is the fourth time you have a criminal charge for DUI. However, you must know that a criminal charge does not necessarily lead to a conviction, and you have the possibility of avoiding the penalties of a DUI conviction in court.
The consequences of a fourth conviction
You must not worry about the impoundment of your vehicle if this is your first, second or third DUI offense. If you do not have multiple DUI convictions, the authorities will allow you to keep and drive your car as long as you install an Ignition Interlock device (IID) in it. With an IID, you cannot drive unless you test clean after blowing into the device.
The state of South Carolina only confiscates vehicles when the driver has three or more prior DUI convictions. In this case, the court would also impose other penalties on the driver. The penalties for a fourth DUI conviction can include a maximum of five years in jail and a permanent revocation of the driving privileges. These last penalties are mandatory, whereas the impoundment of the vehicle may only occur in extreme situations. Nowadays, it is more common for fourth-time offenders to use an Ignition Interlock Device for life than have their car impounded.
Your right to defense
If you are facing a fourth DUI charge within 10 years, you must remember that a criminal charge does not necessarily lead to a conviction. You can still fight in court to avoid the penalties of this crime. This is your right under the law, and you can exercise it in court.