South Carolina, along with many other states, observes standard lookback periods (also called “washout” periods) for driving under the influence (DUI) convictions when determining penalties for DUI cases.
In South Carolina the lookback period is ten years. That means if you are tried and convicted for a DUI, the state will review your record for the past ten years to determine if the current case should count as the driver’s first, second, or third offense.
These lookback periods are extremely important as they play a critical role in determining the penalties that each driver convicted of a DUI will face in South Carolina.
Out of State Convictions
South Carolina is a member of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. As a result, South Carolina will receive information from other states in which a South Carolina resident receives a ticket, such as a DUI. South Carolina will count the out-of-state convictions for DUI against the South Carolina driver in the lookback period.
Escalating Penalties For Each Offense
Drivers need to be aware of the escalating penalties that exist for drivers who are convicted repeatedly of DUI in South Carolina within the lookback period. Individuals who are convicted of driving while impaired with a blood alcohol content over .08 should expect to face the following penalties.
- For first time convictions, a driver may face a fine up to $1,000 and jail time lasting between 48 hours and 90 days, and he or she may lose his license for six months. If the BAC is tested to be .15 or greater, his driver’s license may be indefinitely suspended.
- For the second conviction, a driver may face a fine up to $6,500 and jail time between five days and three years, his driver’s license may be suspended indefinitely, and he will be required to install an ignition interlock device on his car. Ignition interlock devices are installed at the convicted driver’s expense.
- For the third conviction, a driver may face a fine up to $10,000 and up to five years in jail, but not less than 60 days, his driver’s license may be suspended indefinitely, and again, an ignition interlock device must be installed (or kept on the vehicle).
- Individuals who face a fourth conviction during a lookback period may face up to seven years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, as well as an indefinite driver’s license suspension.
As you can see from the severe escalations in penalties for each offense during a lookback period, the time that has elapsed between each DUI conviction is very important.
Judges may also impose other requirements during sentencing such as requiring the driver to attend an alcohol or drug intervention program.
Contact a Knowledgeable DUI Attorney for Help
Should you have any questions about DUI cases for yourself or a loved one, you should consider seeking legal guidance as soon as possible. The Bateman Law Firm is prepared to help you craft a solid defense if you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Greenville or the surrounding region.