DUI Laws in South Carolina

DUI Laws in South Carolina

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In the state of Southern Carolina, if a driver is caught driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol more than the legal limit or being under the influence of drugs, he/she can face serious penalties under the state’s DUI and DUAC Laws. 

If an individual is caught violating the norms, the state legally allows authorities to arrest individuals and charge them according to the DUI law. If found guilty, violators are bound to face serious consequences such as fines, license suspension, jail sentence and so on.

When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in South Carolina

A driver is considered to be legally drunk in South Carolina under the follow circumstances: 

    • Drivers operating a commercial vehicle: BAC is .4% or more.
    • Drivers under the age of 21: BAC is more than unit .2%
    • Non-Commercial drivers: BAC is .8% or more
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What happens when you get convicted for a DUI in South Carolina?  

Below are some of the consequences one might face in South Carolina after being convicted of a DUI:
  • Driver’s License Suspension:

The most straightforward consequence of a DUI charge is that your driver’s license will be suspended for a certain period of time even though you haven’t been convicted–unless you take immediate legal action.

  • Jail Sentence:

The jail sentence for a DUI violation in South Carolina will depend on various factors such as the seriousness of the offence committed, number of previous violations and other factors. As a first time DUI offender, the driver will face a minimum jail time of 10-365 days in jail.

  • Financial consequences:

The most excruciating part of a DUI charge is the exorbitant amount of penalties and fines one has to pay in accordance with the law. There are several other charges such as paying for a DUI school course or an alcohol treatment program which is mandatory for certain offenders. Additionally, the car you drove while being arrested might also be impounded by the authorities and you may also be required to pay a certain amount for each day it stays in the impound lot. License reinstatement comes with its own fee. And most importantly, having a DUI charge on your driving record will raise the rates of your auto insurance premium.

Penalties for a DUI conviction in South Carolina

The penalties for a DUI conviction in South Carolina are as follows:
Offence Count 1st Offence 2nd Offence3rd Offence
License Suspension365 Days2 years along with the installation of an IID3 Years along with the installation of an IID
Jail2-90 days5 days-3 years2 Months-5 years
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South Carolina’s Implied Consent Law

The Implied consent law in South Carolina states that all drivers lawfully charged with a DUI need to submit their blood/urine sample for further investigation and on failure to do so they will have their license suspended for a certain time period.
Offence Count 1st Offence2nd Offence3rd Offence
License Suspension 6 Months9 Months12 Months

SR22 Insurance in South Carolina

In South Carolina, if your license has been suspended for any moving violations or you have been convicted of a more serious driving-related offence then the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will likely need you to obtain an SR-22 from a licensed auto insurance company to get your license reinstated.

SR22 insurance in South Carolina certifies that you have the state-mandated minimum car insurance coverage required to drive or to have your license reinstated after having been convicted of one of a few serious driving offences.

SR-22 requirements in South Carolina are unique to the state. So it’s important for you to understand how this will impact your insurance rate, driving record and other factors.

  • When your uninsured vehicle gets involved in an accident
  • When you have multiple traffic violations in a short span of time
  • When you get caught for DWI/DUI
  • When you are caught for incidents like driving misdemeanour or being part of a driving felony such as vehicular homicide


The most suitable way to avoid getting charged with a DWI violation or having to pay hefty DWI fines is to abstain yourself from driving when you are under the influence of alcohol. But that might not necessarily happen as mistakes are bound to take place-statistics have shown that more than 22,000 South Carolina drivers per year get charged with a DWI violation on average.

We at SR22InsuranceNow aim to provide you with the most accurate and up to date information regarding South Carolina DUI laws so that you can take the right decision if a certain situation arises.

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