As in other states, South Carolina has enacted a series of actions to prevent individuals from engaging in impaired driving because of drugs or alcohol. Most of these actions rely on punitive measures that look to dissuade individuals from getting behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink and drive.
State regulations begin when a driver reaches a blood alcohol count of 0.05 percent.
According to a summary report from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, state law prohibits anyone from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. At the threshold of a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, the law automatically assumes the person meets the requirements for a DUI charge. From 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent, the state considers additional evidence for a DUI charge.
A first-time DUI offense comes with a maximum $400 fine that could reach $992 in surcharges and assessments. The charge could also result in jail time from 48 hours to 30 days and the loss of a driver’s license for up to six months. A second DUI could lead to significantly higher fines, more jail time and a longer license suspension. More severe penalties kick in for a third offense and for repeated violations in a limited time span.
A felony DUI occurs when a person under the influence of alcohol causes a crash that results in great bodily injury or death. In the case of great bodily injury, fines could reach as high as $21,000 and prison time could reach 15 years. If death occurs, fines could reach up to $52,000 and prison times could reach 25 years.