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SC Drunk Driving Laws

SC Drunk Driving Laws Explained

Understanding the SC drunk driving laws is critical in case you are ever pulled over for being suspected of impaired driving. This post goes over the highlights of what you need to know.

The Anastopoulo Law firm urges you to never drink and drive. If you wish to go out and enjoy alcoholic beverages while practicing known social distancing, please have a designated driver to take you home safely. SC drunk driving laws

First, if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher, it is alleged you were pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol. While a blood test could be done to measure your BAC, in South Carolina, your exhaled breath can be analyzed to determine how high it is.

If your measured BAC is 0.05, but less than 0.08, it can be used with other evidence to charge you with a DUI (driving under the influence).

What Fines And Jail Times Are Available Under SC Drunk Driving Laws?

South Carolina takes drunk driving very seriously. The following fines and jail time can hurt you in more than just the fine and jail time alone. You could lose your job, professional licenses and/or certifications if you are found guilty of impaired driving.

  • First offense - Up to $400 in fines, plus $992 assessments and surcharges; being imprisoned anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days and a six month suspension of your driver's license
  • Second offense - Fines ranging from $2100 - $6300, plus an additional $10,744.50 in assessments and surcharges; jail time ranging from five days to one year; driver's license suspended for one year

From here, fines, jail time and driver's license suspensions increase. You can see them here.

What Are South Carolina's Drunk Driving Laws Involving Injury Or Death to Someone?

It's bad enough to lose your driving privileges, spend time in jail and pay heavy fines, but if you are driving while intoxicated, and either hurt or kill someone as a result, this is a felony offense.
Unlike the other drunk driving law talked about above, there are no first, second or third offenses. If you cause:

  • Great bodily injury - Fines of $5100 - 10,100 and $21,119.50 in assessments and surcharges; prison time ranges from 30 days to 15 years.
  • Death to another person - Fines of 10,100 - $25,100 and $52,244.50 assessment and surcharge costs; prison time ranges from one to 25 years.

Other SC Drunk Driving Law Information

You may not drive with an open container of beer or wine, unless it is in the trunk of your vehicle.

If you have other questions, such as who can be stopped for drunk driving, how checkpoints work and what BAC measures, click here to learn more.

With the July Fourth celebration just around the corner, South Carolina law enforcement personnel will be even more vigilant in investigating drivers they suspect are driving under the influence.

What If I'm The Victim Of A Drunk Driving Accident?

If you or any family members have been injured by a drunk driver or have had your vehicle destroyed in an accident caused by drunk driving, call the Anastopoulo Law firm at 800-313-2546. We can represent you to get compensation you may be entitled to if you have medical expenses, are not able to work as a result of the accident or are suffering physical and mental pain.

Additionally, if you have lost a loved one due to a drunk driver, we may be able to get you compensation for funeral expenses, emotional suffering or loss of benefits or inheritance, among other factors.

Image Courtesy of South Carolina Department Of Public Safety


North Charleston, SC

2170 Ashley Phosphate Rd, 3rd Floor
North Charleston, SC 29406
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Phone: (843) 202-4511

Charleston, SC

32 Ann Street
Charleston, SC 29403
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Phone: (843) 202-4357

Columbia, SC

1201 Main Street Ste. 1100
Columbia, SC 29201
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Phone: (803) 205-2595

Myrtle Beach, SC

2411 N. Oak Street Ste. 407,
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
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Phone: (843) 202-4776

Florence, SC

150 W. Evans Street
Florence, SC 29501
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Phone: (843) 202-4791

Greenville, SC

418 River Street
Greenville, SC 29601
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Phone: (864) 207-4042

Wilmington, NC

1213 Culbreth Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
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Phone: (910) 294-3242

Charlotte Office

525 North Tryon Street, Ste. 1600
Charlotte, NC 28202
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