Cleary Law LLC

DUI Penalties In South Carolina


The penalties listed below include the statutory fines, plus the assessments added by the State of South Carolina. They do not include all of the many other hidden costs of having a DUI conviction. Those are listed below this chart. The penalties are based on the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs (legal or otherwise), you will be charged with a DUI (no BA level).

Hidden Costs Of DUI In South Carolina

Motor vehicle insurance fees: The cost of insurance doubles for at least the first three years after a DUI conviction. For an average driver in South Carolina, that amounts to an increase of $3,000.

Alcohol And Drug Safety Action Program: Drivers charged with a DUI are required to go through the ADSAP program. The minimum cost of the program is $500. Additional fees could be as high as $2,500.

Bail Bondsman: Bail bondsmen charge a maximum of 15 percent of the fine. That equals $150 for a DUI fine.

Vehicle Towing: The average cost of a vehicle tow is upwards of $150.

License Reinstatement Fee: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles charges a $100 license reinstatement fee.

Ignition Interlock Device: $731 – $1,214.

Administrative Appeal Of License Suspension: OMVH requires a filing fee of $200.00 to challenge the suspension of license for blowing over .15 or refusing to blow.

Other Consequences:

  • Lost job opportunities. Many employers will not consider you for employment with a DUI conviction on your record.
  • Driver’s License suspension for six months for DUI first. Increased penalties for subsequent convictions.
  • Cost of alternate transportation.
  • Restrictions on Travel: Canada will not let you in with a DUI conviction.
  • Possible cancellation of professional license – contractors, nursing, medical, law, etc.
  • Immigration status jeopardized.
  • Inability to join military and severe consequences if in the military.
  • Inability to rent a car.
  • Permanent criminal record. DUI convictions cannot be expunged from your criminal record. Ever.

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