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South Carolina DUI Laws

From Myrtle Beach to Charleston, Columbia to Greenville, drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs and driving is a crime in South Carolina. The law surrounding a South Carolina driving under the influence (DUI) crime is actually broken down into two, separate crimes: a DUI and a Driving with Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC). Follow along as FindLaw provides you with some important information regarding a DUI/DUAC charge in the “Palmetto State.”For more information about your specific situation, it is best to speak with an attorney.

DUAC: Driving Above a 0.08 Percent Alcohol Concentration

If you’ve been drinking alcohol, the alcohol goes into your bloodstream and is able to be measured by law enforcement through a blood or breath test. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or more at the time of driving, you will be in violation of the law. This is true even if you don’t feel “drunk” or “intoxicated. To be clear, this charge doesn’t involve driving while using drugs, strictly alcohol use.  

Lookback Period in South Carolina

If you’ve been arrested and convicted of a DUI in the past, you’ll want to be aware of this rule. Simply put, if you’ve been convicted of a South Carolina DUI in the past 10 years, the prosecution (and sentencing judge) will “lookback” at your past DUI criminal history and elevate any DUI crimes charged against you. It will also be used by the sentencing judge at the time he or she is rendering a sentencing against you and may involve a higher fine, longer jail sentence, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IED).

South Carolina DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.16
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

South Carolina DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 6 months, 1 year, 2 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Assessment and Treatment
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? Yes (3rd offense)
Ignition Interlock Device Possible?

South Carolina DUI Resources

Additional Resources

Learn More About Your DUI Case: Contact an Attorney Today

A DUI conviction not only will cost you money (fines, court fees, etc.), possibly put you in prison, and jeopardize your driving privileges, but it also could have long term repercussions on your career and personal life. Remember, everyone has the right to defend themselves when charged with a crime. Protect your interests today by contacting a South Carolina DUI attorney.

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