In accordance with South Carolina state statutes, drivers do have the legal right to refuse a breathalyzer test. However, refusal of the test does come with some costly consequences. Drivers who refuse the test will have their license immediately reprimanded and suspended for at least six months. This suspension period is based on your past driving record and whether you have previously refused a breathalyzer test. Refusing the test may not always be a wise decision, and it is best to consult with your attorney before any action after an arrest.
What are the penalties for a first time DUI?
Penalties for first time DUI offenses often vary depending on the intoxication level of the driver. Fines typically range from $400 to $1,000 before administrative fees. If the driver is found to have a BAC that is barely over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, they may face between two and 30 days in jail. If the driver has a BAC over double the legal limit, they can face jail time between 30 and 90 days. In any case, jail time may be replaced with community service hours at the judge’s discretion.
What happens to my license after a DUI?
Even after a first DUI offense, your license will be suspended for at least six months. This suspension period can increase and is contingent on your level of intoxication at the time of arrest and your prior driving record. The suspension on your license will be released after you complete an alcohol and drug awareness course and serve the term of the suspension.
Will I go to jail for a first time DUI offense?
Unfortunately, even first time DUI offenders can see jail time. This jail time is to be at minimum two days and not to exceed 30 days. However, judges will often grant the option for community service hours rather than jail time for a nonviolent offender.
What is a DUI surcharge?
DUIs carry with them various charges. While the majority of them are criminal punishments, DUIs do have additional charges that an offender can incur. These surcharges often consist of administrative, court processing, and other miscellaneous fees. Another common example of a DUI surcharge is the cost associated with an ignition interlock device that the court may require a driver to install. The installation and rental costs will solely be incurred by the offender with no government subsidies.