What Happens to My Driver’s License if I Get a DUI?
When you commit a DUI, no matter what the circumstances may be, your driver's license will be suspended. Under the current South Carolina DUI laws, there is a mandatory driver’s license suspension in most circumstances. The length of this suspension depends on the your situation; however, you may be able to get a provisional license for a portion of the suspension period. Additionally, there are certain minimum driver’s license suspension periods for being convicted of a DUI.
DUI – First Offense
If it is your first DUI offense in a ten-year period, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) measured 0.14% or less, you are potentially subject to an administrative six-month license suspension. However, if you pay a $100 reinstatement fee, install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, obtain SR-22 insurance coverage, and enroll in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) that is certified by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, you may be eligible for a provisional license prior to the expiration of the six-month administrative suspension period.
On the other hand, if your BAC measured 0.15% or more, you are subject to an immediate, indefinite license suspension, even for a first offense, and installation of an IID is not an option. If you refused to take a breathalyzer test at the time of your first DUI offense, you also are subject to an immediate six-month license suspension, with the option of paying a $100 fee and install an IID. However, in this situation, you will not be eligible for a provisional license.
An administrative driver’s license suspension based on the implied consent law, i.e. refusing a breathalyzer test, is independent and separate from any suspension that results from the criminal prosecution for DUI. Likewise, a BAC of more than 0.15% is a suspension that is independent from any suspension resulting from the criminal action. What this means is that you can receive an administrative license suspension, even if you are found to be not guilty of DUI. If, however, you are convicted of DUI in South Carolina, you also will receive a six-month driver’s license suspension that is separate from the administrative suspension.
DUI – Second, Third, or Fourth Offense
If you have had at least one DUI in the previous ten years, your administrative driver’s license suspension will be indefinite and installing an IID is not an option. The license suspension for a subsequent DUI depends on your BAC level and the number of previous DUI offenses you have had in the past decade. For instance, a second DUI offense during which you refused to take a breathalyzer test, or had a BAC of up to 0.09%, will result in a one-year license suspension. A third DUI, meanwhile, will result in a driver’s license suspension for a period ranging from two to four years. Finally, a fourth or subsequent DUI within a ten-year period will result is a permanent revocation of your driver’s license.
Contact Surasky Law Firm Today
Given the speed at which DUI cases tend to move through both the court system and the administrative license suspension process, it is essential that you contact our experienced Aiken DUI defense attorneys at Surasky Law Firm as quickly as possible. Contact us today for more information on how we can help with your case.