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Underage DUI in South Carolina

Underage DUI in South Carolina

Many high school and college students in South Carolina and across the United States engage in underage drinking. However, such actions often result in impaired young people getting behind the wheel and causing a serious car accident. 

In every state, there are “zero-tolerance” rules that specifically apply to underage drivers who are younger than 21 years old. According to South Carolina law, if a driver is underage 21 years old and has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .02 percent – or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol – can be arrested for an underage DUI

However, an underage DUI is not punishable by jail time or even fines. Rather, a conviction carries a driver’s license suspension for three months. A second offense within five years can result in license suspension for up to six months. 

Additionally, every underage driver must enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.  

If an underage driver refuses to submit to a post-arrest chemical test (i.e., breath or blood test), then his/her license will automatically be suspended for six months. A second refusal within a five-year period can lead to license suspension for up to one year. 

On the other hand, if an underage driver’s BAC is at least .08 percent, then he/she will be charged with a standard DUI. A first offense carries a maximum jail term of one year, fines of up to $1,000, and driver’s license suspension for six months. If his/her BAC is at least .1 percent, then a conviction could result in increased penalties. 

If you or your child has been charged with an underage DUI in Lexington, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 for a free initial consultation. Get more than 15 years of legal experience on your side! 


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