Criminal Penalties for DUI 1st Charges in South Carolina

It is important to understand that there are both criminal penalties and DMV/administrative penalties for a DUI charge and/or subsequent conviction.  

If your are arrested for DUI, you will be offered a breath test once you are taken to jail.  As you may already know, it does not matter what your BrAC reading may be.  From 0.00 to .30, you will spend at least one night in jail once arrested. Many people believe that if they comply and give a breath sample they will acquit themselves right there in the breath test room and be allowed to go home.  It is a simple fact, that once you are arrested you cannot be “unarrested” until a bond hearing.

We have a detailed explanation of the statutory penalties for a DUI charge in South Carolina here.


If you refuse the breath test you will incur a six (6) month administrative drivers license suspension.  If you later plea guilty or a judge/jury finds you guilty of the criminal charge of DUI, you will have an additional six (6) month drivers license suspension on top of the original administrative suspension.  Also, there is an administrative requirement of ADSAP for a breath test refusal If this sounds like you are being punished twice, you’re right.

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