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
- South Carolina DUI Statutes: Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (S.C. Code Ann. 56-5-2930 to 56-5-2995).
- Ignition Interlock Program - Overview of South Carolina's ignition interlock program (SC Dept. of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services).
- Ignition Interlock FAQ - Frequently asked questions and answers regarding South Carolina's ignition interlock program (SC Dept. of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services).
- Comparing State DUI Laws,
- The Tale of Two Drunk Driving Cases,
- Having Your Car Impounded After a DUI.
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.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.