When it comes to punishment for driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI laws in South Carolina were perceived as among the most lenient laws in the country. However, due to increase in alcohol related accidents, the state of South Carolina overhauled their DUI laws in 2008. Under these new laws, the severity of the punishment for anyone for DUI now depends on the blood alcohol concentration level. Essentially, a high blood alcohol concentration level translates to a more severe punishment. For a first time DUI conviction, the court cannot impose a fine lower than the amount determined by law.
Normally, if you are arrested with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 to 0.09, the court can impose a jail term is between 2 days and 30 days. On the same offense, the court can impose a period of not less than 48 of community service with a fine of $400. A BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level of 0.10 to 0.15 comes with a minimum jail sentence of 3 days and a maximum of 30 days or seventy two hours of community service. The fine here is usually $600.
If you are arrested with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.16 or above, it is taken as a serious offense, and the jail term that you can serve goes up to a minimum of 30 days. In fact, in some cases, it can go up to 60 days. If you will be lucky enough not to have a jail term imposed on you, the length of your community service duration will be no less than 30 days. The fine that shall be imposed in this case goes up to ,000.
South Carolina DUI laws dictate that a second DUI conviction comes with more severe punishments. For instance, a 0.08-0.09 BAC carries a minimum of 5 days in prison and a maximum of 1 year. The fine in this case is between $2,100 and $5,100. A BAC level of 0.10-0.15 carries a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of 2 years. The fine is $2,500-$5,500. Any BAC content of 0.16 or above comes with a punishment of 90 days to 3 years in jail. The fine is usually between $3,500 and $6,500.
When arrested for a third time for DUI, a BAC level of 0.08 to 0.09 has a minimum jail sentence of 60 days and a maximum of 3 years. The fine is a minimum of $3,800 and a maximum of $6,300. A BAC of 0.10 to 0.15 has a minimum jail term of 90 days and a maximum of 4 years. The fine is between $5,000 and $7,000. Any level above 0.16 has a minimum jail term of 6 months and a maximum of 5 years. The fine is between $7,500 and 0,000.
Finally, DUI laws in South Carolina also encompass other forms of punishment in addition to the jail term and fine. The law gives the court mandate to revoke or suspend a license. In addition, it has the powers to compel the offender to attend mandatory counseling classes.