prior dui conviction impact

Facing your first DUI charge is difficult, but if you find yourself in the same situation more than once, it’s easy to feel like your life is spiraling out of control. South Carolina wants to keep everyone on the road as safe as they can, which is why many of the penalties for DUI convictions are hefty. But subsequent convictions carry with them increased penalties. While a South Carolina DUI defense attorney can represent your case and argue on your behalf, it’s still helpful to understand the penalties you may face and how prior convictions impact those penalties.

You’ll Pay a Higher Fine

During your first conviction, you likely were offered a choice between paying a fine of several hundred dollars or serving time in jail. But your second offense will likely result in an even higher fine. Depending on your BAC, you could face a fine between $2,100 and $6,500. The higher your BAC is, the higher your fine will likely be. And subsequent convictions will face even higher fines up to $10,000.

Jailtime Is Required

With a first offense, jailtime may not be required. Often, it’s used as a way to punish you for your actions if you’re unable to pay the fine the court deems appropriate. But with subsequent convictions, jailtime is typically required. Sentencing will depend on the severity of your DUI conviction as well as the number of prior convictions you have on your record. A second offense could face jailtime of up to three years but a fourth offense could face up to seven years.

You May Need an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on Your Vehicle

Subsequent DUI convictions often require that you install an IID on your vehicle. These devices only turn your car on if there’s no alcohol on your breath, making it more difficult to drive under the influence. The length of time you’ll need to leave the IID in place can range from two years for a second offense, three years for a third offense, and life for a fourth or subsequent offense.

Driver’s License Suspensions Increase in Duration

Unless it’s your first offense with a relatively low BAC, you’ll end up having your driver’s license suspended as part of your punishment. But the length of time your license will be suspended can vary. With subsequent convictions, your license will be suspended at the discretion of the court. There is no minimum or maximum length of time that the judge can suspend your license. That said, the larger the number of convictions you have on your record, the longer your suspension will likely be. Your South Carolina DUI defense attorney may be able to help you get a shorter suspension.

Always Work With an Attorney

If you’re facing repeat DUI charges, don’t try to represent yourself. Instead, work with an experienced South Carolina DUI defense attorney. They’ll be able to represent your case and may help you get a fairer sentence. At Truslow & Truslow, our team is here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.