Changes in South Carolina DUI Law Stiffen Penalties For Drunk Drivers
South Carolina is second in the nation for the highest number of deaths each year that are caused by someone who was driving while intoxicated. In an effort to decline the number of deadly accidents in South Carolina, new DUI laws came into effect in February 2009 that impose harsher sentences for drunk drivers.
New laws impose bigger fines and more jail time for DUI convictions.Depending on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) when you are arrested, there is a new set of fines and required jail time.
The following is the guideline:
For Blood Alcohol Content from 0.08-0.09:
First Time Offenders: 2-30 days in jail OR 48 hours of community service, $400 fine
later Offenders: 5 days to 1 year in jail, $2100-$5100 fine
For Blood Alcohol Content from 0.10-0.15:
First Time Offenders: 3-30 days in jail OR 72 hours of community service, $500 fine
later Offenders: 30 days to 2 years in jail, $2500-$5500 fine
For Blood Alcohol Content from 0.16 and above:
First Time Offenders: 30-60 days in jail OR 30 days of community service, $1000 fine
later Offenders: 90 days to 3 years in jail, $3500-$6500 fine
Additional changes to the South Carolina DUI, effective July of 2009 include:
1. Required alcohol and drug rehabilitation for ALL offenders;
2. Underage drinkers will have their license suspended for six months;
3. Additional six month license suspension if you refuse a breath-test.
As you can see, there are harsh consequences if you refuse to have your breath tested. South Carolina has an implied consent law that requires that you give consent to a blood, breath, or urine test if you are suspected of driving under the influence in South Carolina. No one is exempt from these laws—All drivers are dangerous drivers when they are intoxicated. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) hopes that these laws will deter motorists from already thinking about mixing drinking and driving.
The SCDPS also launched a media campaign in order to gain sustain and awareness of the new laws. To spread awareness of the new DUI law, TV commercials, billboards and additional public safety and Sheriff’s Department check points are abound across the state of South Carolina.
consequently, if you choose to excursion while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should be aware that if you are caught, you may be unprotected to high fines and long jail time if you are driving with a BAC of.08 or higher, are under 21 and driving with a BAC of.02 or higher, or are a Commercial means Driver with a BAC of.04 or higher.
In conclusion, already if you have just had a few drinks, it is not worth it to get behind the wheel in South Carolina. A drunk driving accident can have a devastating affect on your life, in addition as the lives of others in the path of a drunk driver on the road. Do yourself and others a favor. Please do not drink and excursion yourself, and please do your part to educate others about the consequences of driving under the influence in South Carolina.