Perhaps you are a college student who intends to go to graduate school or an expert in your field about to apply for a higher-paying job.
A conviction for DUI or DUAC could derail your expectations. Financial penalties, incarceration, lost driving privileges, expensive insurance and collateral consequences could leave your future plans in limbo.
The state of South Carolina has established some harsh penalties for anyone convicted of driving under the influence or driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration.
A first offense is a misdemeanor with a fine, assessments and surcharges of almost $1,000 and possible imprisonment or community service. A second offense may cost over $10,500 and result in five days to one year in prison and driver’s license suspension. A third offense may cost over $13,000, with a potential for incarceration between 60 days and three years and a two-year driver’s license suspension.
A fourth conviction is a felony and will result in one to five years in prison and permanent driver’s license revocation.
Driver’s license reinstatement in South Carolina will require your payment of a fee, a minimum of $200, and submission of an SR-22, which is proof of automobile insurance. You will find that the SR-22 is not inexpensive, but this is because a drunk driving conviction puts you in “high-risk driver” territory.
The collateral consequences of a drunk driving conviction may be far-reaching. Remember that anyone can go online and look at your criminal record. Therefore, the college you prefer for grad school may turn you down due to this kind of mark. The recruiter who interviews you for the new job you want may also give you a pass, preferring to hire someone with a clean record who appears the more trustworthy candidate. If you drive as part of your current job, a DUI/DUAC could spell the end of your employment.
Because of the potential costliness of this type of conviction, developing a strong defense strategy is paramount.