Details of DUI Penalties in Columbia, SC

 In DUI

Have you or someone you know been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Columbia, SC? These charges are not something you should take lightly. Even first offense DUI convictions can carry stiff penalties, including mandatory jail sentences. South Carolina counts any prior DUI convictions in the prior 10 years as an aggravating factor in sentencing. This includes DUI convictions from other states.

First Offense

A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor. For a first conviction South Carolina law imposes the following penalties (including minimum required jail time):  

  • If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is between 0.08 and .10 you must serve between 48 hours (sometimes this can be served via public service) and 30 days in jail
  • For a BAC between .10 and .15 you will serve between 3 and 30 days in jail
  • For a BAC over .15 you will serve between 30 and 90 days
  • Imposed fines between $400 to $1,000
  • License suspension of 6 months for BAC below 0.15. Over 0.15 and license suspension can be indefinite and Ignition Interlock required for 6 months  

Second Offense

For a second DUI conviction within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Penalties include:

  • If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is below .10 you must serve between 5 days (minimum) and 30 days in jail
  • For a BAC between .10 and .15, you will serve between 30 days (minimum) and 2 years in jail
  • For a BAC over .15, you will serve between 90 days (minimum) and 3 years in jail
  • Imposed fines between $2,100 and $6,500
  • License suspension is indefinite and Ignition Interlock required for 2 years  

Third Offense

For a third DUI conviction within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Penalties include:

  • If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is below .10 you must serve between 60 days (minimum) and 3 years in jail
  • For a BAC between .10 and .15, you will serve between 90 days (minimum) and 4 years in jail
  • For a BAC over .15, you will serve between 6 months (minimum) and 5 years in jail
  • Imposed fines between $3,800 and $10,000
  • License suspension is indefinite and Ignition Interlock required for 3 years. However, if a third conviction occurs in a period of five years, the Ignition Interlock is required for 4 years.   

Fourth or more Offense

If you are convicted of a fourth (or subsequent) DUI within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction you will be charged with a felony. Penalties include:

  • If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is below .10 you must serve between 1 to 5 years in prison.
  • For a BAC between .10 and .15, you must serve between 2 to 6 years in prison
  • For a BAC over .15, you must serve 3 to 7 years in prison
  • License suspension is indefinite and Ignition Interlock required for life

Other Consequences of Felony DUI

Felony charges also carry several residual penalties. For example, you could lose your job. Some employers won’t hire you if you have a felony on your record. Property management companies also might deny your housing rental application. You will lose your right to vote and carry a gun. If you are not a U.S. Citizen you can be deported.

Contact a Columbia, SC DUI Attorney

Facing DUI charges is a big deal. An experienced DUI attorney can help you defend your case. Contact attorney William Hodge today at803-457-2216 or contact us online to discuss your options.

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