23Jul 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in South Carolina

For drivers under the age of 21 years they are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .02, for non-commercial drivers above 21 years they are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .08. However, commercial vehicle drivers are considered to be legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is more than .04, school bus drivers are considered to be commercial drivers in South Carolina.

South Carolina Drunk Driving Penalties

For first time DUI offenders in South Carolina, they face the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of 2 days to 1 month, the offender must serve at least 48 hours in jail.
  • The offender will be subjected to 48  hours of community service
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 6 months

For second time offender within 10 years of the first offense, they face:

  • A prison sentence of 5 days to 1 year
  • A fine ranging from $2,100 to $5,100
  • The offender will be subjected to 30 days of community service
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 1 year

For third time offenders within 10 years of their first conviction, they face the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of 2 months to 3 years
  • A fine ranging between $3,800 and $6,300
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 2 years; however, if the conviction occurred within 5 years of the previous offence, the suspension period is 4 years.

For fourth and subsequent offenders, they face the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of 1 to 5 years
  • The offender’s driver’s license will be revoked for life.
  • The offender may apply for reinstatement of his/her license after 7 years have elapsed.

 

The Point System in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for awarding points if you commit any traffic violation. If you commit serious traffic offenses or accumulate too many points on your driving record, you will face: your driver’s license cancellation, revocation or suspension, reinstatement fees, defense driving or driver improvement course requirements, driving restrictions, court fines and penalties. If six or more points are added to your driver record, South Carolina SCDMV will send you a letter in the mail telling you to drive more carefully. If you continue to violate traffic laws, or if you already have more convictions the department has not yet received, you are in danger of losing your driver license altogether. If your point total reaches 12 or more, your driver’s license will be suspended. How long will be determined by the court.

 

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