Comparison of Florida and South Carolina DUI Statutes

I recently happened across a blog post on A Law Clerk’s Journal ( which summarized Florida’s DUI Laws. As an attorney who handles many DUI cases, I thought it might be interesting to compare the penalties for DUI in Florida and South Carolina. (I practice in Columbia, SC.)

According to the article I read, the following are Florida Penalties for DUI (first conviction.)

  • Fine – $250 to $500
  • Community Service – 50 Hours
  • Probation – Not more than 1 Year
  • Imprisonment – Not more than 6 Months
  • Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
  • License Revocation – Minimum of 180 days
  • DUI School – 12 Hours

In South Carolina, the penalties for a DUI first conviction are divided by BAC at the time of the incident. (There are enhanced penalties for higher BACs.) Assuming a BAC of 0.08, the penalties are as follows.

  • Fine of $500 or,
  • Imprisonment  for 3-30 days or,
  • 72 hrs. of public service to be served at a time when the person is not working and does not interfere with his regular employment.
  • No part of the minimum sentence may be suspended, however the judge may allow for night or weekend service, or service in “any fashion he considers necessary.”
  • A person convicted of violating this section must complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program certified by the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. An assessment must be conducted, and a plan of education and/or treatment must be developed. Cost may not exceed

Type of Services

Maximum Cost

Education Services


Treatment Services


Total Cost for all Services


An applicant may not be denied services due to inability to pay. An applicant who is unable to pay shall perform 50 hours of community service

 It should also be noted that South Carolina has a separate DUAC statute which governs similar (but different) subject matter.

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