Most people know that driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in South Carolina, but we still find that people are severely underinformed on the subject. This can lead to unfortunate and serious consequences. 

does a dui carry jail time in south carolina

South Carolina law defines driving under the influence/DUI as driving under the influence of a substance (ie, alcohol or drugs) to the extent that your faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. This consists of driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher or driving while under the influence of any drug or intoxicant.

A question that clients often ask us is whether a DUI offense can land them in jail. We believe that it’s vital for drivers to understand traffic laws and the consequences of violating them, so read on to learn the answer.

Does a DUI carry jail time in South Carolina?

Yes, there is the possibility of serving jail time with a DUI conviction. The kind of penalty you face for a DUI conviction in South Carolina will depend on the number of DUI convictions you have amassed:

  • First offense: jail time ranging from 48 hours to 30 days and a suspension of your driver’s license for six months and/or a fine of up to $400 ($992 with assessments and surcharges)
  • Second offense: jail time ranging from five days to one year and a suspension of your driver’s license for one year and/or a fine of $2,100 to $5,100 ($10,744.50 with assessments and surcharges)
  • Third offense: jail time ranging from 60 days to three years and a suspension of your driver’s license for two years and/or a fine of $3,800 to $6,300 ($13,234.50 with assessments and surcharges) 
  • Fourth offense (and beyond): jail time ranging from one to five years and permanent revocation of your driver’s license

If you cause significant bodily injury to someone or cause someone’s death while driving under the influence, your DUI will be a felony charge. In cases of felony DUI the penalties are steeper:

  • When great bodily injury occurs: jail time ranging from 30 days to 15 years and a mandatory fine of $5,100 to $10,100 ($21,119.50 with assessments and surcharges)
  • When death occurs: jail time ranging from one to 25 years and a mandatory fine of $10,100 to $25,100 ($52,244.50 with assessments and surcharges)

It should also be noted that if your third or subsequent DUI offense occurs within ten years of your first DUI offense, your car will also be confiscated

Let SeiferFlatow help 

If you find yourself charged with a DUI, you’ll need a strong defense. The legal team at SeiferFlatow is experienced in fighting traffic violation charges in South Carolina and will work with you to craft a solid defense and ensure your rights are preserved. Don’t take the risk of losing the ability to drive, having to pay heavy fines, or serving jail time. Contact our South Carolina office to speak with an attorney or schedule a consultation today.





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