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How Much Trouble is a DUI?

Many people know that getting caught driving under the influence of alcohol carries stiff penalties in many states, including South Carolina.

But what are the exact repercussions? Here's a basic rundown.

Someone who is convicted of a DUI in South Carolina will face varying consequences-many of which will have a major impact on life circumstances.

Fines and jail time

Those who have been convicted of a DUI may face criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.

A first offense carries a fine of $400 and jail time totaling anywhere from 2 days to 30 days. A second offense will cost between $2100 - $5100, and jail time between five days and one year. A third offense costs $3800-6300, and the offender can spend up to three years in jail. Subsequent offenses cost even more, and these amounts are determined by the court.

License suspension

License suspension or revocation is also possible for at least six months for even first time DUI offenders. That time frame doubles for second offenses and again for third offenses.

Treatment programs

In addition to losing the ability to drive, those convicted of driving under the influence may also be required to complete alcohol education courses, undergo an assessment, or enter treatment programs.

Ignition interlock devices

When driving privileges are reinstated, it is frequently accompanied by an ignition interlock device, which administers a precautionary breathalyzer test that the driver must pass in order to start the vehicle. Typically, IIDs are mandated for those with a 2nd or subsequent DUI conviction. Those with multiple convictions may even have their vehicles confiscated.

Other penalties

South Carolina drivers should know that stepper consequences are involved for those found to have enhanced BAC levels of .16, or twice the legal limit.

Also, the legal BAC limit for both commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21 are different than .08 for adults.

Commercial drivers face DUI charges if caught with a BAC of .04. Those under age 21 caught behind the wheel with a BAC of .02 will face DUI charges.

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