Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence

Being arrested and charged with DUI or DUAC is an extremely unpleasant experience.  Driving under the influence is a serious crime, with serious penalties.  Jail time, as bad as it is, is just the start of the process. You need experienced guidance to assist you through the legal process and no matter which firm you choose, the services of an attorney should be retained if you find yourself in such a situation.

South Carolina Code of Laws section 56-5-2930 states that “It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle within this State while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired, under the influence of any other drug or a combination of other drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired, or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug or drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired.” A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence (DUI). 

Driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC - illegal per se):

South Carolina prohibits driving a motor vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08 or higher. If you are convicted of driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration, you face the same penalties as you would for a DUI conviction. (S.C. Code of Laws Sections 56-5-2933 and 56-5-2940)

Implied Consent:

South Carolina law also states that any person driving in this state is considered to have given consent for testing of breath, blood or urine for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in the person's system, if alleged to have committed a violation. If you refuse to submit to BAC testing, you face an automatic 6 month suspension of your driving privileges if you are 21 years of age or older.

Penalties can also include the installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) in an offender's vehicle. This device tests the breath of the driver for alcohol before the vehicle can be started. An IID is usually not required for first offense convictions; however, in some cases, if the BAC is .15 or more, the IID can be required for first offenses. The driver will be responsible for the cost of the required monthly maintenance on the device.

Below is a chart that lists some of the possible consequences of being charged with DUI in South Carolina:

DUI Consequences in South Carolina


1st Offense


2nd Offense


3rd Offense


4th Offense




48 hours to 90 days


5 days up to 3 years


60 days up to 5 years


1 to 7 years


Fines and Penalties


$400 to $1,000


$2,100 to $6,500


$3,800 to $10,000


Up to $10,000


License Suspension


6 months


1 year


2 years




IID Required









Time is of the essence if you have been charged with DUI or DUAC. Let the attorneys at Shaw Law Firm guide you through the consequences and decision making processes associated with these charges. A DUI charge can be expensive and can include court costs and fines, bail, impound fees, administrative fees and increases in your car insurance premiums, just to name a few. If convicted, a driver will have to carry SR22 insurance for three years at a significant cost. Other long-reaching consequences can include job loss or an inability to keep or win a public office. Shaw Law Firm strives to provide confidential, courteous and personal service to our clients and together work toward the best outcome possible.

We serve York County, Lancaster County and Chester County and all cities within those counties including Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Clover, Lake Wylie, Tega Cay, York, Sharon, Hickory Grove, Indian Land, Catawba, Lancaster, Chester, Great Falls and Richburg. We also serve Charlotte and the entire surrounding region. Shaw Law Firm has a Former Prosecutor on Staff who is dedicated to representing families and individuals going through difficult situations. Divorces and persons accused of Crimes, including alcohol and drug related charges are the focus.

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