In South Carolina if you have been convicted of driving under the influence, or driving with an unlawful blood alcohol concentration, you likely had to pay fines, serve jail time, and endure a driver’s license suspension as part of your sentence. However, if you commit a second DUI within ten years of your first DUI, whether it occurred in South Carolina or in another state, you can be charged and convicted with a second offense crime. If convicted of a second DUI, you can be subject to much harsher penalties than you were for your first offense.
A second DUI, like a first offense is still considered a misdemeanor but the typical sentence for a second DUI conviction includes the following:
- If you had a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.10 percent, you may be subject to fines ranging from $2100 to $5100, and jail time ranging from five days to one year, and license suspension of one year;
- If you had a blood alcohol concentration ranging from 0.10 to 0.16 percent, you may be subject to fines ranging from $2500 to $5500, and jail time ranging from thirty days to two years; and a one year license suspension; and,
- If you had a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.16, you may be subject to fines ranging from $3500 to $6500, and jail time ranging from ninety days to three years, and a license suspension of one year.
Again, these are typical sentences for a second DUI conviction and they do not take into account any facts or circumstances that have the potential to increase the penalties even more, such as if you were involved in an accident, whether the accident caused injury or death, and whether you had a child under the age of sixteen in your vehicle at the time.
It is important to note that the sentences for DUI convictions that occur after a second offense only get harsher and include steeper fines, more significant jail sentences, and either a lengthier license suspension or permanent revocation. Accordingly, even a first time DUI charge should not be taken lightly. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, not only can a conviction subject you to large fines, jail time, and a lengthy license suspension, but a conviction can affect your everyday life and your ability to obtain and keep a job or qualify for a student loan. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with DUI, the attorneys at Harwell Law Firm, P.A., recommend that you consult with an experienced attorney right away. An experienced DUI attorney can review the facts and evidence in your case so that you can make an informed decision as to how you would like to proceed in your case.