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DUI/DWI - Felony DUI

Penalties for a DUI or DUAC (driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration) conviction in South Carolina have never been greater. In South Carolina a single lapse in judgment can lead to you facing a suspension of your driver's license, jail time, SR22 bond insurance, an interlock ignition device, fines and more. The potential impact on your job, reputation, and family can be just as frightening. At Murray Law Offices, we can help.

How We Can Help

South Carolina DUI and DUAC laws allow for a wide number of penalties for a DUI or DUAC conviction. At Murray Law Offices, P.A. all of our DUI and DUAC cases are handled by Heather Moore Sarvis. At Murray Law Offices, our entire legal team is dedicated to aggressively protecting your rights. Our goal is to assist you in regaining some control, protect your rights, and reducing or avoiding serious consequences.

When to Contact a Lawyer

It is important to know your rights as soon as possible and delays in consulting a lawyer can be extremely costly if you have been charged with DUI or DUAC. In South Carolina you have only 30 days to fight mandatory driver's license suspensions for failure to take a breath or other chemical test or if you have a high reading (0.15 or greater), in addition to the suspension penalties for the DUI charge itself. Delays can only work to the advantage of those who are prosecuting you. Call Murray Law Offices, today and schedule a free consultation with attorney Heather Moore Sarvis and let us work to help you save your driving privileges and protect your freedom.

DUI and DUAC Driving Penalties

At Murray Law Offices, we feel it is important to know what the range of penalties you are facing if you have been charged with DUI or DUAC. In South Carolina the penalties for DUI or DUAC start before there is a conviction. The law requires that you submit to a breath test or other chemical testing, this is called Implied Consent. The results of those tests or refusal to take those tests can lead to a license suspension and more. In addition, if you are convicted of an offense you face additional penalties that include additional driver’s license suspensions, jail time, fines, interlock ignition devices being installed on your vehicle at your expense and more. Below are several convenient charts that outline some of the penalties you are facing. Please call Murray Law Offices, for a free consultation and complete explanation of your rights.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSIONS AND IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES BASED UPON BREATHALYZER RESULTS

The first element of a DUI or DUAC arrest is the Implied Consent portion of South Carolina Law. Implied Consent, in brief, means that you are required to submit to a breathalyzer (breath test) examination or other chemical test given to you by an officer certified to perform the examination. The results of the test or tests given to you or the refusal to take that examination can result in penalties and loss of driving privileges and, as of October 1, 2014 pursuant to Emma’s Law, failure to submit to a breath test or other chemical test can result in the loss of driving privileges without the ability to drive at all (no provisional license) during the period of suspension. However, you have the right to fight these penalties at an Implied Consent Hearing but your request for this hearing must be submitted within 30 days from the date of your arrest. At Murray Law Offices, we will fight these suspensions for you at an Implied Consent Hearing as part of our goal to protect your rights. The chart below outlines these penalties.

Number of Prior DUI/DWI or DUAC Convictions
in Past 10 Years

Suspension for BAC of Equal to or More Than .15%

Suspension for Refusal*

None

1 month

6 months

1

2 months

9 months

2

3 months

12 months

3

4 months

15 months

*Note: For all convictions that result All Refusals – No Provisional License Allowed

Criminal Penalties and License Suspensions for a Conviction

SC Code 56-5-2930.  South Carolina has an additional crime, with the same penalties as DUI, for driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC).  This law does not require any level of physical or mental impairment only blood alcohol content reading of .08 or greater. The penalties for DUI and/or DUAC are separate from the penalties for the Implied Consent Suspension.


Charge

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Penalty (Fines do not include assessments and fees.)

License Suspension

DUI / DUAC 1st Offense (misdemeanor)

BAC < .10%

$400 fine or at least 48 hours to 30 days jail; 48 hour minimum may be served via public service

6 Months

BAC .10 - .16%

$500 fine or at least 72 hours to 30 days jail; 72 hour minimum may be served via public service

BAC > .16%

$1000 fine or at least 30 to 90 days jail; 30 days minimum may be served via public service

DUI / DUAC 2nd Offense in 10 years (misdemeanor)

BAC < .10%

$2100 to $5100 fine AND 5 days to 1year jail; may be susp to no less than $1100.

1 year

BAC .10 - .16%

$2500 to $5500 fine AND 30 days to 2 years jail; may be susp to no less than $1100.

BAC > .16%

$3500 to $6500 fine AND 90 days to 3 years jail; may be susp to no less than $1100.

DUI / DUAC 3rd Offense in 10 years
(misdemeanor)

BAC < .10%

$3800 to $6300 fine AND 60 days to 3 years jail;

2 years (*4 years)

BAC .10 - .16%

$5000 to $7500 fine AND 90 days to 4 years jail;

BAC > .16%

$7500 to $10,000 fine AND 6 months to 5 years jail;

DUI / DUAC 4th in 10 years or Subsequent
(felony)

BAC < .10%

1-5 year incarceration

Permanent Revocation

BAC .10 - .16%

2-6 years incarceration

BAC > .16%

3-7 years incarceration

*If The Third Conviction Occurs Within Five Years From The Date Of The First Offense, Then The Suspension Length Is Four Years.

Interlock Ignition Device and Emma's Law

On October 1, 2014, South Carolina passed Emma’s Law which requires, among many other things, interlock ignition devices for certain DUI and DUAC convictions. An interlock ignition device is similar to a breathalyzer machine for your car. In order to start your car you must blow into it at a level of .02 or less and the device must capture a picture of the driver. The driver pays the cost for the device. In addition, the device must be inspected every 60 days. Criminal penalties apply for tampering with the device, having someone else blow into the machine, or driving a vehicle not equipped with the device.


Charge

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Interlock Ignition Device Penalty

DUI / DUAC 1st Offense

BAC .15 or refusal

6 months

DUI/DUAC 2nd Offense in 10 years

BAC .15 or refusal

2 years

DUI/DUAC 3rd Offense in 10 years

BAC .15 or refusal

3 years sometimes 4 years

DUI/DUAC 4th Offense and above in 10 years

BAC .15 or refusal

Lifetime requirement


Provisional Driver's License

If you are convicted of DUI or DUAC you will have a driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 6 months. If you have not refused the breath test or other chemical test you may be eligible for a provisional driver’s license. To apply for that license you must complete the following:

  1. Have had a valid driver license and have no other suspensions on your license;
  2. Enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP);
  3. File with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles a certificate of SR-22 bond insurance;
  4. Pay a one time $100.00 Provisional Driver's License fee.

If you have been charged with a DUI / DWI or DUAC remember "Don’t Worry, Call Murray!" 

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