DUI Penalties

SC DUI Penalties are serious

DUI Penalties may include jail timeIf you're facing charges for driving under the influence in South Carolina, it's important to have a full understanding of the DUI penalties and consequences you may face. We provide strong, knowledgeable DUI defense services to clients in Columbia, and around the state of South Carolina. We understand South Carolina's drunk driving laws and how they will apply in each unique situation.

DUI Penalties you may be facing

If convicted on a charge of DUI you could be facing substantial fines, jail sentences and license suspensions that vary in severity depending on the results of your Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) test and any prior DUI convictions. The following are penalties you could face if arrested for DUI in South Carolina:

First-Time DUI Penalties

A determination of the criminal DUI penalties you may face for an initial DUI is directly related to your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC):

  • A BAC between .08 and .15: a fine of $500 not including additional court costs, up to 72 hours of community service, and in some cases, anywhere from 3 to 30 days in jail;
  • A BAC of .16 or higher: a $1,000 fine in addition to court costs, up to 30 days of community service, and as many as 90 days in jail.

Penalties for a DUI Second Offense

If you're charged with a second DUI after a prior DUI conviction, you may face the following penalties:

  • Second DUI conviction (within 10 years of first): a fine between $2,100 and $5,100, in addition to court costs, and a sentence of jail time ranging from a minimum of 5 days to one year in prison.
  • A BAC between .10 and .15: will get you a fine of $2,100 to $5,100, plus court costs, and a jail sentence of anywhere from 30 days to two years in prison
  • A BAC of .16 or higher: will cost you from between $3,500 to $6,300 in fines, in addition to court costs, and a jail sentence of a minimum 90 days up to three years in prison

Third DUI Penalties

If this is your third DUI offense, your penalties may be doubled:

  • A third DUI conviction (within 10 years of first): a fine between $3,800 and $6,300, plus court costs; a jail sentence of 60 days to three years in prison
  • A BAC between .10 and .15: a fine between $5,000 to $7,500, plus court costs; 90 days in jail to four years in prison
  • A BAC between .16 and above: a fine between $7,500 to $10,000, plus court costs; six months in jail to five years in prison

Fourth DUI Conviction

Four drunk driving offenses within a 10 year span is considered a felony in South Carolina. Penalties include incarceration for up to seven years.

In addition to these criminal consequences, you may also have to deal with the loss of your driver's license, changes to your current employment, and difficulties finding future employment. College Students face the potential loss of any federally funded loans or grants.

If you've been charged with DUI, you need experienced help

David B. Tarr is an experienced and effective DUI and DWI defense attorney who has represented clients throughout South Carolina for more than 20 years. At the Law Office of David B. Tarr, we know that the consequences stemming from the application of the DUI and DWI laws of South Carolina are heavily dependant on the facts and circumstances specific to each case.

Whether you've been charged with your first DUI or your fifth, we may be able to help. We can counsel you on what you can expect and what options you may have. Call us at 803-238-7967, or contact us via email to schedule your free initial consultation with a DUI lawyer.


Attorney David Tarr has remained committed to the rights of South Carolina's criminally accused since 1995.
Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyer David Tarr
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