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South Carolina DUI Law Firm: 2nd D.U.I. and DUI 3rd Offense
South Carolina drunk driving laws. As in all other states, two types of drunk driving charges exist in South Carolina. One is for being too impaired to drive, which our state describes as being “materially and appreciably impaired.” Other states simply call it driving “under the influence” (D.U.I.).
The other related, but different, crime is for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, which our state describes as “driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration” (DUAC). Both DUI and DUAC carry harsh criminal penalties in South Carolina, even for first time offenders.
For driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) charges, SC DUI laws for driving with an unlawful blood alcohol content (DUAC) use a graduated penalty range. Being over the 0.08 grams percent, adult legal alcohol limit South Carolina is a crime. But the higher the BAC test level, the higher the punishment will be, generally.
Some other highly punitive legal complications can cause a bad case to be far worse. These high difficulty-level cases have additional special factors and potentially life-changing, enhanced DUI consequences:
- Driving under Suspension SC.
- Violation your probation by driving a vehicle not equipped with the require ignition interlock South Carolina device.
- Driving on a canceled, suspended or revoked license.
- Charged with felony DUI resulting in death SC or felony DUI with great bodily injury SC, where up to 15 years in prison are possible.
Thanks to federal mandates to all states for tougher DUI laws, DUI jail time is just one of several DUI penalties in South Carolina. Repeat DUI offenders will face more punishments and fines for DUI. With any DUI conviction, a South Carolina DUI license suspension will be imposed, but the DUI license suspension periods vary when high BAC numbers or repeat offenses are involved.
The SC BAC limit. Like all states other than Utah, the legal alcohol limit SC for adult drivers ages 21 and older is 0.08 grams percent. For drivers under age 21, that legal limit for alcohol in SC is 0.02 grams percent.
Cost of a DUI in South Carolina. Because every person convicted of DUI in SC must complete the ADSAP program to have driving privileges reinstated, expert to spend thousands of dollars on DUI punishment, if the accused drunk driver doesn’t successfully fight the DUI case. DUI fines will be just a small fraction of that cost.
The complexity of these many variations and factors under South Carolina laws requires the able assistance of skilled and experienced lawyers near me for DUI in SC. A DUI first offense is no exception to this maxim since the crime cannot be expunged from your criminal history — ever.
If you are charged with a new DUI in SC and your driver’s license is taken and administratively suspended as a result, you have the right (within 30 days of the arrest) to request a Preliminary Hearing. This is available for a DUI alcohol or DUI drugs arrest.
South Carolina DUI penalties are controlled by the “number” of the offense (whether it is a first DUI offence, DUI second offense, or third DUI offense) within the prior ten (10) years. Next, on subsequent offenses, the accused, repeat offender, impaired driver’s blood alcohol concentration can drastically alter potential DUI punishments that your DUI lawyer will not be able to negotiate away.
Thanks to the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution, every person has the right to a DUI defense attorney. For accused DUI arrestees in SC who are indigent or cannot afford DUI fees for private legal counsel, the SC DUI court in which your case is pending will be obligated to appoint a DUI defense lawyer to represent you.
DUI Levels in SC: Penalties for DUI Alcohol or Drugs in Palmetto State
One of our other DUI information pages discusses a DUI first offense SC, and the likely DUI penalties and DUI consequences of a first offense DUI.
2nd DUI in SC. The jail time goes up to five (5) days, to as much as three (3) years in jail. Additionally, your BAC “number can cost you more penalties. Drivers who gave a post-arrest test and yielded 0.10 grams % and up to 0.16 grams percent Datamaster number will face thirty (30) days to two (2) years of jail time.
What happens with a high South Carolina blood alcohol limit? Finally, that same driver whose breath alcohol content revealed a 0.16 gr. % (or higher) reading faces ninety (90) days to three years in custody, if convicted.
When the BAC is Double the South Carolina DUI limit. When our client has registered a DUI .16 or higher, one of our immediate objectives is to find a way to exclude that Datamaster test or blood alcohol extraction reading, which then eliminates the lengthy, mandatory jail time.
If that driver is also dealing with a second offense for DUS (Driving Under Suspension) for a prior DUI, the jail penalty will be sixty (60) days to six (6) months or $600 fine plus court costs (on that DUS conviction) that more than doubles that base fine amount.
In South Carolina, if someone is convicted of a third DUI within 10 years, they will face increasingly severe penalties. These include fines ranging from $3800 to $10,000, plus additional surcharges, and a minimum jail sentence of 60 days, with a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Additionally, if someone is convicted of Driving Under Suspension for DUI for a third or subsequent time within 10 years, they can be sentenced to 6 months to 3 years in prison and a fine of $1000, plus court costs which can raise the total above $2500.
For all these offenses, the driver’s license will be suspended for a long period of time with no driving privileges allowed at all. Once this period is over, a reinstatement fee must be paid to the SC DMV before the license can be reactivated.
For a third or subsequent criminal offense for Driving Under Suspension for DUI within 10 years, the penalty on the DUS can be six (6) months to three (3) years in state prison and a $1,000 fine plus court costs that push the total north of $2500.
All these convictions carry lengthy additional driver’s license suspensions that will have to “waited out” with no driving privileges permitted at all, until certain conditions and time periods have passed. On top of that, license reinstatement fees will need to be paid to the SC DMV before your license can be reinstated.
For a fourth or subsequent offense where the driver’s BAC is 0.16 or above, the penalty is 3 years to 7 years in jail. Afterwards, to ever drive again, the driver will also need to install an ignition interlock device in her or his vehicle.
All convictions will require the driver to enroll and complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) as well as obtain SR 21 Insurance.
FREE Consultation: How to Avoid a DUI Conviction
The secret to great outcomes in SC DUI arrests is to seek the help of skilled, experienced local DUI attorneys in upstate SC. To start the process of shifting this legal burden OFF your shoulders and onto ours, call today for a FREE lawyer consultation.
Dial our main number, (864) 271-3535, and speak with a Price Law Firm attorney about keeping a DUI off your criminal record and driving record. Our DUI defenders will share our ideas on winning your DUI case, Then, once we get a chance to review all traffic tickets and license suspension information, we can plot the path of your DUI defense.
Tap into the local court familiarity and connections of our criminal lawyers in Greenville, SC. By being part of the Chip Price family and both partners being lifetime SC natives, Greenville is a special place for our criminal defense lawyers Greenville, SC. By initially working as State-paid attorneys in our early years, the high volume of cases handled taught both James H. Price IV and Powers Price about the “ins and outs” of the upstate law courts.
Once you hire one of our legal service professionals, the attorney-client relationship protects all conversations between you and your criminal lawyers near me in upstate SC. At the initial consultation, receive our FREE legal advice, and speak with openness and confidence to our attorneys for DUI that it will not be repeated by our DUI lawyers in SC.
Call now to speak with our DUI lawyers near me in Upstate SC, and receive your free consultation lawyer phone call, virtual meeting or in person consult with our South Carolina lawyers. Contact our Price lawyers at (864) 271-3535.