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South Carolina DUI Penalties

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South Carolina DUI Penalties

Implied Consent Laws

Blood-Alcohol Concentration

Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Concentration

Enhanced Penalty Blood Alcohol Concentration

Administrative License Suspension/Revocation Penalties

Vehicle Confiscation

Ignition Interlock

Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment



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Implied Consent Laws


Laws call for drivers alleged of driving under the influence to admit to breath, blood, or urine testing for alcohol content are known as "implied consent laws." Denial carries penalties that can include mandatory suspension of a driving license for up to a year.

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Blood-Alcohol Concentration

In South Carolina, any driver with a blood-alcohol concentration - or BAC - above .08 percent is measured “per se intoxicated” under the law. Under this statute, this confirmation is all that is needed for a driver to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

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Zero Tolerance Blood-Alcohol Concentration

In all states, “zero tolerance laws” centre of attention on drivers not of legal drinking age. In South Carolina, persons under the age of 21 operating a vehicle with a .02 percent blood-alcohol level or over are subject to DUI penalties.

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Enhanced Penalty Blood-Alcohol Concentration

In some states there is a more stern punishment for those convicted of DUI with a predominantly high blood-alcohol content at the moment of arrest; this is generally .15 to .20 percent above the legal limit. Enhanced penalty laws are not utilized in South Carolina.

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Administrative License Suspension/Revocation Penalties

These penalties are minimum mandatory penalties forced on drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration above South Carolina’s maximum permissible level of .08 percent or drivers subject to the implied consent laws (see above) for refusing to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing for blood-alcohol content.

Penalties involve suspension or revocation (meaning transitory or permanent removal) of the driver’s license by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). In South Carolina, for the initial DUI offense the mandatory suspension is 90 days; for the second offense, one year; for the third offense, three years.

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Vehicle Confiscation

The punishment of vehicle confiscation for DUI conviction – either undyingly or temporarily - is a possibility in some states, generally for repeat offenders. This is not a penalty option in South Carolina.

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Ignition Interlock

An ignition interlock device attaches to the condemned DUI offender’s motor vehicle and requires the driver to complete a breath-test before the vehicle will start. While this penalty for DUI conviction is a chance in some states, this is not an choice in South Carolina.

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Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment

Alcohol instruction and prevention program, treatment for alcohol abuse, and assessment of a person for possible alcohol or drug craving can be required for DUI offenders in South Carolina. These steps are often optional instead of serving a sentence of incarceration or paying fines.

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