An arrest for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in South Carolina can be very embarrassing and inconvenient. Even in scenarios where the state charges someone with a technical infraction rather than with causing a crash that harmed other people, they can expect the courts to impose criminal penalties and also driving consequences in the event of a conviction.
People often underestimate exactly how expensive a DUI charge can be, especially when they first make the decision about how to respond to the allegations that they face. Those who understand how much an impaired driving charge actually costs may see the value in assertively defending themselves against those charges in criminal court.
A judge sentencing someone after a DUI charge will often expect them to pay a fine in addition to serving a jail sentence or abiding by probation requirements. The circumstances at the time of someone’s arrest and their prior record will directly influence how much they pay. Fines can be as much as $10,000 in South Carolina for repeat offenders with higher blood alcohol concentrations (BACs).
Increased insurance costs
Every South Carolina driver needs insurance coverage, but it will cost more to have liability protection after a DUI conviction. Even after drivers get their licenses back, they will pay more for the same insurance coverage for years after a guilty plea or conviction in a DUI case.
A license suspension is common after DUI charges, and there can be charges related to regaining driving privileges, not the least of which will be installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in someone’s vehicle. Additionally, while someone does not have driving privileges, they may have to absorb the cost of other transportation, such as using rideshare services regularly to get to and from work. Those costs can add up to several times the expense involved in having one’s own vehicle.
Compared with the massive expenses and inconvenience generated after pleading guilty to a DUI charge in South Carolina, the cost and time invested in a defense may not seem so onerous. Having a realistic understanding of what DUI charges mean for an individual may lead to a more informed response after someone’s arrest.