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What Happens If You're Convicted of a South Carolina DUI?

South Carolina is tough on DUI violations: a first offense carries a mandatory six-month license suspension, and the penalties become more severe with each successive conviction. If there are aggravating factors involved, such as having a high BAC or driving with a child in the vehicle, the consequences are even more severe.
If you’re convicted of a DUI in South Carolina, you face administrative and criminal penalties. They are as follows:
Administrative Penalties
A first offense carries a mandatory license suspension for six months. First-time offenders who also refuse to submit under the state’s implied consent laws will also have their license suspended for six months.
To get your license back, you may have to go to counseling and complete an alcohol/substance abuse assessment. You may also have to install an ignition interlock device on your car upon restoration of the license.
Criminal Penalties
The criminal penalties for a first offense DUI depend on your BAC at the time of your arrest. BAC levels of .08 to .10 can result in 2-30 days in jail. If the BAC level is above .10 but less than .16, the mandatory incarceration period is 3-30 days. Any result above .16 can send you to jail for 30-90 days.
If convicted, you may also be fined anywhere between $997 and $2,400 depending on your BAC. You will also be responsible for added costs such as license reinstatement.
First-time offenders may avoid incarceration by performing public service, but your conviction will have an impact on any subsequent South Carolina DUI arrests and convictions over the next 10 years.
In addition, a DUI conviction can cause serious issues beyond the legal system – students may be kicked out of prestigious universities, professionals may risk losing their job, and many licensed professionals (such as attorneys or medical professionals) may be at risk of losing their certification and ability to practice.
If you are arrested for DUI, contact a South Carolina DUI attorney immediately.  A skilled attorney may help you get the charges dismissed, or structure a plea to an offense other than DUI, such as reckless driving, or perhaps another moving violation depending upon the evidence and other legal issues. Please contact us today to learn more!

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