In South Carolina if you are convicted of driving under the influence, or driving with an unlawful amount of alcohol in your system, you can be subject to fines, jail time, and license suspension, not to mention the everyday affects that a criminal conviction can have on your life, such as your ability to obtain and keep a job. The fines, jail time, and other penalties you can receive usually depend on the facts and circumstances of your case, including the percentage of alcohol in your blood, whether you were involved in an accident, or whether you caused serious injuries.
For a first time DUI, depending on your impairment and/or blood alcohol concentration, typical sentences are as follows:
- For a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.10 percent, you can be subject to a $400 fine, jail time ranging from forty-eight hours to thirty days, and a license suspension of six months;
- For a blood alcohol concentration ranging from 0.10 to 0.16 percent, you can be subject to a $500, jail time ranging from seventy-two hours to thirty days, and a six month license suspension; and
- For a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.16 percent, you can be subject to a $1000 fine, jail time ranging from thirty days to ninety days, and a six month license suspension.
These sentences of course do not take into account circumstances that may enhance your sentence. Additionally, the more DUI convictions you receive in a ten year period, the greater the penalties. A second DUI conviction can include fines ranging from $2100 and $6500, jail time of five days up to three years, and a license suspension of one year. A sentence for a third DUI conviction can include fines ranging from $3800 to $10,000, jail time ranging from sixty days to five years in jail, and license suspensions of either one or four years, depending on the circumstances. Fourth and subsequent convictions are considered felonies and have sentences that include imprisonment ranging from one year to seven years, depending on the circumstances, and permanent license revocation.
Also depending on the circumstances of your case, you can be required to enroll in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program, and you may even have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a lengthy period of time.
No matter whether you are a first time DUI offender, or you have a history of driving under the influence convictions, the consequences of a DUI offense are significant. Large fines, jail time, and license suspensions are only part of the bigger picture. Remember that a criminal record can seriously affect your ability to obtain and keep a job, affect your ability to obtain a student loan, and even have a negative impact on your relationships with others. If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, or driving with an illegal amount of alcohol in your system, the attorneys at Harwell Law Firm, P.A., recommend that you consult with an experienced DUI attorney right away to help you determine how to proceed in your case.