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Why is it so important to not get your first DUI conviction?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2023 | Drunk Driving Charges

Naturally, you never want to get a DUI conviction. If you do, you’re going to have to pay a fine, you’ll lose your license and you could even spend time in jail. Like all other states, the general blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in South Carolina is a BAC of 0.08%. Exceeding this could lead to serious ramifications.

However, it may be even worse to get a subsequent DUI, so avoiding that first one is critical. Let’s look at what happens if you have repeated convictions on your record.

A second offense

First off, if you are convicted of your first DUI, the fine is going to be up to $400. This actually comes all the way up to $992 with surcharges in assessments added on, so count on losing about $1,000. You could also spend anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days in prison, and you could lose your driver’s license for the next six months.

If you get a second charge, though, and you’re convicted, the fine increases to a maximum of $5,100. With all of the surcharges and assessments added on, that increases to $10,744.50. In other words, you’re probably going to pay about 10 times as much money for a second offense as you would for a first. You can also spend anywhere from five days to 12 months in prison, and your driver’s license could be taken away for twice as long, meaning you lose it for an entire year.

What about a third offense?

This trend continues if you get a third offense, where the fine increases to $6,300. Surcharges and assessments tend to increase this to more than $13,000. Imprisonment could run from 60 days to an entire three years, and your suspension of your driver’s license could be as long as two years. Plus, that driver’s license suspension could be increased to four years if it has only been a maximum of five years between your first offense and your third offense.

In other words, every time you get another conviction on your record, the ramifications you face dramatically get worse. If you’re facing these types of allegations, it’s absolutely critical that you know what legal options you have.

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