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Columbia DUI Penalties

KENDRICK & LEONARD, P.C. > Columbia DUI Penalties

What Are The Expected Penalties For 1st, 2nd, 3rd And 4th DUI Offenders In South Carolina?

Getting charged with a DUI is serious, and you could receive a harsh sentence depending on your record. The more past offenses that you have, the more likely you are to get a severe sentence. That’s why you need an excellent DUI lawyer. They can help identify some of the possible DUI penalties you may face.

Driving under the influence is one of the major causes of road accidents in the country, and that is why the law is stringent on offenders. It may seem like a small charge, but the more you repeat it, the worse the penalties become. You could get DUI penalties that include sentences of 5 years in jail, plus fines and permanent revocation of your license.

The obvious way to avoid this is to not drink and drive. But if it’s too late for that, you can reduce your charges is to hire great DUI attorney. It’s important to remember that even with experienced counsel, getting you out of a repeat offense could be impossible.


Penalties for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th DUI Charges in Columbia, SC

The sentence for a first offender is much less than that of a repeat offender. The DUI penalties increase, and if you are not careful, you may find yourself in some serious trouble.


Penalties for 1st Time DUI Offenders


If you are a first-time offender, then luckily the penalties are not so severe. Even if your DUI lawyer is unable to get the charges dropped, you should be fine. But when you are arrested, charged, and sentenced, you will pay fines according to your BAC (blood alcohol content).

With a BAC of .08 to .10, you may have to pay a fine of up to $400. If your BAC was more than .10 to .16, then your penalties will be no more than $500. For alcohol concentration of above .16, the fine would be at $1000 maximum. Apart from the cash fines, you will have to pay for court costs as well.


Jail Term

A BAC of between .08 and .10% may get you at from two to thirty days in jail. You may be required to do two days of community service instead of the jail term. With an alcohol content of .10 to .16%, you will be jailed for between three and thirty days. If you get the minimum DUI penalties, you may be given community service instead. If your BAC is more than .16, then you may get between 30 and 90 days maximum sentence. Also, in this case, the minimum penalty can also be community service instead of jail time.

Apart from jail time and fines, you’ll have to enroll in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP). This will be paid at your own cost. As a first time offender, your license will be suspended for at least six months. It will only be reinstated after you serve your sentence. You will be required to pay the reinstatement fees of $100 and provide proof of completing ADSAP.


Penalties for 2nd Time DUI Offenders

If you are arrested for DUI a second time, it means that you will get heavier DUI penalties. Your lawyer will most likely only be in a position to get you the minimum punishment.



Having a BAC of between .08% and .10% will lead to fines between $2,100 and $5,100. A second-time offense with a BAC of between .10% and .16% will get you fines between $2,500 and $5,500. If you have a BAC of more than .16%, your fines range will be $3,500 up to $6,500. You will also be required to pay the court fees on top of your fines.


Jail Term

For a second conviction, jail terms range from five days to one year for BAC of .08% to .10%. If you had an alcohol concentration of .10% to .16% jail time will be between 30 days and two years in prison. If BAC was .16% or more, the amount of jail time ranges from three months to three years.


Ignition Interlock

As a second time offender, you’ll be required to get a car ignition interlock installed at your own cost. This is a device that measures your BAC before you can start your car. The device will need to be monitored at least every two months by your probation officer. You will need to keep it in perfect working condition for at least two years.


License Suspension

Your license will be suspended for a period of no less than one year. Unlike in first offenses, you will not be allowed to seek a temporary permit during your suspension. To have your license reinstated, you will need to provide:

  • An SR22 form that shows proof that you have insurance
  • Payment of the $100 reinstatement fee
  • Proof that you have completed the ADSAP


Penalties for the 3rd Offense DUI

If you are charged a third time for DUI in Columbia, SC, you officially become a felon. That means your sentence will be as severe as the charges. You’ll need a DUI lawyer to represent you as you prepare to face what lies ahead for your case.



A BAC of .08% to .10% will get you fines between $3,800 and $6,300 maximum. Third-time conviction with an alcohol concentration of more than .10% up to .16% will result in fines of $5,000 minimum to $7,500 on the higher end. If you had a BAC of more than .16%, then you should expect fines ranging from $7,500 to $10,000 maximum. In addition to the fines, you will also have to cover court costs.


Jail Time

With a BAC of .08% to .10%, you’ll get minimum DUI penalties of two months to three years. A BAC between .10% to .16%, the resulting sentence will be at three months to four years. With a BAC of more than .16%, your jail sentence will six months to five years. Since a third-time offense is a felony, a judge will likely be hesitant to give you the minimum sentence. This is especially if your BAC has consistently been high in the past convictions.


Ignition Interlock

You will be required once again to get an ignition and use it for at least three years. You will need to have it inspected by your parole officer at least every 60 days.


License Suspension

As a third time convict your license will be suspended for at least two years. You will not be eligible to get a temporary driver’s license during this period. Afterwards, you’ll be required to pay the reinstatement fee of $100, have proof of insurance, and complete an ADSAP.


Fourth-Time Offenses


You stand to pay fines amounting to $10,000 or as the court sees fit. The actual number will be based on previous BAC test results and your overall conduct.


Jail Term

If you had a blood alcohol concentration of .08% up to .10%, you’ll be jailed for one to 5 years. A BAC of greater than .10% to .16% will get you jail time of two to six years maximum. If you had a BAC of more than .16%, you may have to serve 7 years in jail.


License Suspension

If you are convicted for the fourth time for a DUI offense, then your driver’s license will be revoked permanently.


Penalties for Driving While License Is Under Suspension or Revoked

If you’re a first offender , driving while suspended will result in a $300 fine or 30 days incarcerated. You may even be penalized with both.

For a second offense of driving while your license has been suspended, you will get fines of $600 or serve 60 days in jail. You may even be penalized with both.

The third offense of driving under suspension will earn a $1000 fine and up to 90 days in prison. You may also be confined to your home. This applies if the sentence is more than 90 days and less than six months. The Home Detention Act defines these terms.

Apart from the fines and jail term, your driver’s license will be suspended for an even more extended period. If your original suspension was about six months, you may get an additional six months after being convicted of driving while under suspension. This is a highly inconvenient situation that can cause many problems for you. Contacting a DUI attorney will help you identify your options to reduce DUI penalties.


Reach Out To Kendrick and Leonard for Legal Advice and Minimum DUI Penalties

If you are a repeat DUI offender, it is highly unlikely that you will get off without punishment. However, our Kendrick and Leonard DUI lawyers ready to argue your case in favor of a minimum sentence and reducing your DUI penalties. If there are any irregularities in your case, and you feel you were were wrongfully accused, give us a call. Contacting us as soon as possible will help us determine what will best benefit you. With adequate investigation and evidence, we can get the charges dropped or have the case dismissed by a court.

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