DUI fines

When most people learn that they are facing charges alleging DUI in South Carolina, their main concern is whether a conviction means that they will go to jail. However, just as serious as the potential criminal penalties are the heavy fines that a conviction can force a person to pay. These include both direct fines to the State as well as fees that may accompany alcohol education courses and a reinstatement of a driver’s license.

The fact is that the DUI fines in South Carolina sometimes rise to the amount of thousands of dollars, even for a first conviction. The legal team at Truslow & Truslow PA is here to help you better understand how a DUI conviction in South Carolina may impact your finances.

South Carolina’s Drunk Driving Laws and the Fines for a First Conviction

Most people understand that it is illegal to drive a vehicle on South Carolina’s public roads while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. More specifically, South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930 says that a person may not operate a vehicle while having a blood/alcohol level of .08 percent or more. In addition, a police officer may make an arrest and pursue criminal charges even without this evidence.

The precise method that prosecutors use to prove drunk driving has no impact on the potential penalties for conviction. In every example, these are criminal cases that will result in the creation of a criminal record and force a court to impose a jail sentence of at least 48 hours or fine a person $400. Additionally, the court must suspend a person’s driver’s license for six months. There are costs associated with reactivating a driver’s license after this suspension.

Factors that May Increase the Fines Associated with a South Carolina DUI

The $400 fine listed above only applies to cases where a driver has no prior DUIs on their criminal record and there are no aggravating factors involved in the incident. Even if this is a person’s first DUI case, their blood/alcohol content may serve as a justification for a court to impose a heavier penalty.

For example, if a driver has a blood/alcohol level of .10 to .16 percent, the fine increases to $500. For amounts in excess of .16 percent, the fine rises to $1,000.

Other aggravating factors that exist under South Carolina law that make DUIs more severe include:

  • Previous DUI convictions
  • Incidents that involve property damage or injury to others
  • Having a child in the vehicle at the time of the incident

Any of these factors can lead prosecutors to pursue more severe DUI penalties. The team at Truslow & Truslow PA is ready to explain the fines that accompany every person’s specific DUI case.

Speak with the Attorneys at Truslow & Truslow PA Now to Learn More About DUI Fines in South Carolina

South Carolina’s lawmakers have many methods to dissuade people from drinking and driving. Apart from the potential time spent in jail after a case, courts also have the power to order individuals to pay heavy fines after a DUI conviction. Even if this is your first DUI case, a conviction comes with a mandatory-minimum fine of $400. However, more serious cases will raise that fine into the range of tens of thousands of dollars.

If you are facing allegations related to DUI, contact Truslow & Truslow PA now. They are ready to explain South Carolina’s DUI fines and work to create a defense that allows you to avoid paying these severe penalties.