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What are the punishments for a DUI?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Blog, Dui/dwi |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense, and South Carolina enforces particularly strict laws to deter people from drinking and driving. If you or someone you know faces a DUI charge in South Carolina, you may wonder about the possible punishments.

Knowing the penalties for a DUI can help you understand the seriousness of the situation.

First offense punishments

If South Carolina charges you with a DUI for the first time, the penalties may include fines, jail time and loss of driving privileges. Fines can be up to $400, depending on your BAC level. You might serve from 48 hours to 30 days in jail, with community service as an alternative option. You may also lose your license for six months.

Punishments for multiple offenses

Multiple DUI offenses bring more severe punishments. A second offense might result in fines from $2,100 to $5,100, a jail sentence from five days to one year and a one-year license suspension. A third offense can mean fines of $3,800 to $6,300, imprisonment from 60 days to three years and a two-year license suspension. Four or more offenses qualify as a felony, with a prison term from one to five years and permanent license revocation.

Considerations for aggravating factors

Factors such as causing an accident, having a minor in the car or having an extremely high BAC can increase punishments. The court may impose higher fines, longer jail sentences and more extended license suspensions in these cases.

Additional consequences

A DUI conviction can also create other challenges in your life. Higher insurance premiums, difficulty in finding employment and mandatory attendance in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program may follow.

The punishments for a DUI in South Carolina vary and can be quite severe, depending on the offense’s circumstances. Understanding these punishments emphasizes the importance of responsible behavior and the serious nature of DUI charges. Always think carefully before driving if you have been drinking, and remember to find a safe alternative to driving.

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