How Much Will My DUI Cost Me?
In South Carolina, people cannot operate a motor vehicle if they have been drinking alcohol or consuming drugs to the degree that they’re appreciably and materially impaired. Drivers will be presumed to be impaired if they have a .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher. In other words, the mere fact that your BAC registers at a .08% can be used to directly infer that you are impaired. Additionally, South Carolina has a charge for Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC) whose penalties closely mirror DUI.
However, it is not alcohol alone that can impair you – if you are found to be under the influence of ANY drug (including prescription medication and over the counter drugs) to the point that your ability to operate a vehicle is materially and appreciably impaired, you can be charged with DUI.
Getting convicted of DUI will cost you more than you think. Here’s what you can expect to pay if you get convicted of DUI in South Carolina.
Finally, if you have been charged with DUI refusal or have given a BAC sample of greater than .15%, your license will be suspended at the time of your arrest – we need to get started on requesting an administrative hearing within 30 days of your arrest.
The Cost of a DUI Conviction in South Carolina
While each DUI case is unique, various factors can contribute to the total cost of a DUI in SC:
- First DUI Offense – A fine between $997.00 and $2,262.50, depending on BAC (inclusive of surcharges and assessments), 48 hours to 90 days incarceration, again depending on BAC Additionally, your license may be suspended for six months and an interlock ignition device may be required.
- Second DUI Offense – A base fine between $2,100 and $5,100 dependent upon your BAC (up to $10,744 including surcharges and assessments), up to three years in prison, again dependent upon your BAC and a one-year license suspension and interlock ignition device may be required for two years.
- Third DUI Offense – A fine between $3,800 and $6,300 (up to $13,234 including surcharges and assessments), up to five years imprisonment, fine and incarceration dependent upon BAC and license suspension for two years. You will face a license suspension of up to four years if your third DUI offense happens within five years of your first DUI. If your third or subsequent DUI happens within 10 years of your first DUI, your vehicle may also be confiscated. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device for a minimum of three years.
- Fourth or Subsequent DUI Offense – One to five years in prison and permanent license revocation. Ignition Interlock Device will be required for LIFE.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI, meaning that your DUI incident involved severe injuries or the death of another person, the costs can be even greater:
- DUI involving severe injuries – A fine between $5,100 and $10,100 (up to $21,119, including surcharges and assessments) and up to 15 years in prison.
- DUI involving death – A fine between $10,100 and $25,100 (up to $52,244, including surcharges and assessments) and imprisonment of one to 25 years, no parole.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may also need to pay for some or all of the following:
- Bail fees
- Monitoring and probation fees
- Courts fines and fees
- Towing and storage costs
- DMV fees
- Traffic school
- Ignition interlock device (IID) installation
- Legal fees
On top of all these DUI-related costs, your auto insurance provider may raise your premiums by up to 70%, which could increase your yearly auto insurance rates by $1,000 or more. You will also lose discounts and bundled insurance plans and find it difficult to secure a new auto insurance plan if your provider drops you.
Reach Out to a Skilled Conway DUI Defense Attorney Today
Keep in mind that you’re innocent until proven guilty, even if you’ve been charged with violating the DUI laws in South Carolina. Our Conway DUI defense attorney can help you determine the best options for avoiding the harsh and costly penalties of a DUI conviction. Reach us online or call The Law Office of Brad C. Richardson, LLC, to set up your free consultation with our Conway DUI defense attorney today.