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Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Apr 09, 2018 in Auto Accidents

Yesterday I wrote an article about a pedestrian being struck and killed by a vehicle operated by a person allegedly under the influence of alcohol.  That person was charged with felony DUI.  I was asked what the penalty is for felony DUI in South Carolina. Felony DUI is a statutory crime in SC:

SECTION 56-5-2945. Offense of felony driving under the influence; penalties; "great bodily injury" defined.

(A) A person who, while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or the combination of alcohol and drugs, drives a motor vehicle and when driving a motor vehicle does any act forbidden by law or neglects any duty imposed by law in the driving of the motor vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes great bodily injury or death to another person, is guilty of the offense of felony driving under the influence, and, upon conviction, must be punished:

(1) by a mandatory fine of not less than five thousand one hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand one hundred dollars and mandatory imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than fifteen years when great bodily injury results;

(2) by a mandatory fine of not less than ten thousand one hundred dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand one hundred dollars and mandatory imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than twenty-five years when death results.

A part of the mandatory sentences required to be imposed by this section must not be suspended, and probation must not be granted for any portion.

(B) As used in this section, "great bodily injury" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

(C)(1) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall suspend the driver's license of a person who is convicted pursuant to this section. For suspension purposes of this section, convictions arising out of a single incident must run concurrently.

(2) After the person is released from prison, the person shall enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program pursuant to Section 56-5-2941, end the suspension, and obtain an ignition interlock restricted license pursuant to Section 56-1-400. The ignition interlock device is required to be affixed to the motor vehicle for three years when great bodily injury results and five years when a death occurs.


As you can read, the penalty depends upon whether a person was killed or suffered "great bodily injury".  But in the case of a person killed, a conviction carries mandatory jail time with a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Driving under the influence is dangerous and illegal. You can ruin your life and the lives of others.  Don't do it.

If you or a loved one have been injured by an impaired driver, call us now. You need to act quickly to protect your rights.

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