Understanding DUI Laws in South Carolina: A Comprehensive Guide

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that poses significant risks to both the driver and the public. Each state in the United States has its own set of DUI laws, and South Carolina is no exception. Understanding the DUI laws in South Carolina is essential for anyone who operates a vehicle within its borders. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the key aspects of DUI laws in South Carolina, including the legal limits, penalties, consequences, and potential defenses.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits

Understanding DUI Laws in South Carolina A Comprehensive GuideIn South Carolina, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% for adult drivers aged 21 and over. For drivers under 21, the “zero tolerance” policy is in effect, meaning any measurable amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge. Additionally, commercial drivers are subject to a stricter limit of 0.04% BAC.

Penalties for DUI Convictions

First Offense:

  • Fine: $400 or more
  • Jail Time: 48 hours to 30 days
  • License Suspension: 6 months
  • Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) enrollment required
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation may be required

Second Offense (within 10 years):

  • Fine: $2,100 to $5,100
  • Jail Time: 5 days to 1 year
  • License Suspension: 1 year
  • ADSAP enrollment required
  • IID installation required

Third and Subsequent Offenses:

  • Felony charge
  • Fine and jail time increase significantly
  • License Suspension: 2 to 4 years
  • ADSAP enrollment required
  • IID installation required
  • Consequences Beyond Penalties

Aside from legal penalties, a DUI conviction can have a profound impact on various aspects of an individual’s life:

  • Increase in auto insurance rates
  • Difficulty obtaining employment, especially for jobs that require driving
  • Negative impact on personal and professional reputation
  • Possible immigration consequences for non-U.S. citizens
  • The emotional and psychological toll

Defenses and Legal Options

  • Challenging Sobriety Tests: Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests are not always accurate. Issues with calibration or administration can lead to incorrect results.
  • Illegal Stops: If law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over, evidence collected during the stop could be challenged.
  • Miranda Rights Violations: If your rights were not read to you during the arrest, it could impact the admissibility of certain statements you made.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can lead to false positives on breathalyzer tests, providing a potential defense.
  • Plea Bargaining: In some cases, a DUI charge may be reduced to a lesser offense through negotiation with the prosecution.

The Bateman Law Firm: Your Strong Advocate in South Carolina DUI Cases

Facing a DUI charge in South Carolina can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. At The Bateman Law Firm, we understand the gravity of this situation and are here to guide you through every step of the legal process. With years of experience in handling DUI cases, we are committed to providing you with the best possible defense and ensuring your rights are protected.


Led by experienced attorney John Bateman, our firm specializes in South Carolina DUI cases. Our in-depth knowledge of state laws, legal procedures, and the intricacies of DUI cases empowers us to craft strategic defenses tailored to your unique circumstances. We have successfully handled a wide range of DUI cases, from first-time offenses to complex situations involving accidents and injuries.

Personalized Approach

We understand that every DUI case is different. That’s why we take a personalized approach to each client’s situation. When you choose The Bateman Law Firm, you’re not just another case number – you’re an individual with your own story, concerns, and goals. We take the time to listen to your side of the story and gather all the necessary details to build a strong defense strategy.

Thorough Investigation

A key aspect of building a solid defense is a thorough investigation. Our legal team meticulously examines every piece of evidence, including police reports, witness statements, breathalyzer calibration records, and more. This attention to detail allows us to uncover any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and identify opportunities for a favorable outcome.

Strategic Negotiation and Litigation

Whether negotiating with the prosecution or representing you in court, our skilled attorneys are adept at both strategies. We explore all options, including seeking reductions in charges or pursuing alternative sentencing programs when applicable. If your case proceeds to trial, rest assured that we will vigorously advocate for your rights and present a compelling defense to the judge and jury.

Comprehensive Support

At The Bateman Law Firm, we understand that a DUI charge can have far-reaching consequences beyond the legal realm. Our team is here to provide not only legal support but also guidance and assistance in navigating the practical challenges that often arise in the wake of a DUI arrest. We’re dedicated to helping you minimize the impact on your personal and professional life.

Your Trusted Ally

When you choose The Bateman Law Firm to represent you in your South Carolina DUI case, you’re choosing a dedicated ally who will fight tirelessly on your behalf. We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you, whether it’s a dismissal, a reduction in charges, or a favorable plea agreement.

Contact Us Today

If you’re facing a DUI charge in South Carolina, don’t face it alone. The Bateman Law Firm is here to provide you with the expert legal representation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward protecting your rights and your future. Your defense starts here.