If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may be facing the prospect of heavy fines, mandatory community service, and a potential jail sentence. In addition, you are also subject to license suspension penalties, ranging from a minimum of six months to multiple years. This can have a major impact on your life, making it difficult to go to work, attend school, or even provide for yourself or your family members. Depending on your situation, there are options available to get your license back after a DUI.
South Carolina DUI License Suspension
Under the South Carolina Motor Vehicle Code, your driving privileges may be suspended for driving under the influence (DUI), for driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC), or for failing to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical testing.
You may be able to keep your license while your charges are pending, but once convicted your license will be automatically suspended:
For a first offense DUI, DUAC, or refusing to submit to testing, the suspension period is a minimum of six months.
For a second or third DUI, DUAC, or if your blood alcohol content level (BAC) is significantly greater than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the suspension period is up to two years;
For a fourth DUI or if you were involved in an accident while under the influence, your license could be revoked or suspended indefinitely.
Getting Your License Back After Suspension
Once your driver’s license is suspended, it is vitally important to refrain from driving under any circumstances. If you are pulled over while driving with a suspended license, you will likely face a mandatory jail sentence, along with having the suspension period extended or facing license revocation.
Depending on your charges, there are several ways in which you may be able to maintain your driving privileges even after a DUI. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles offers the following options:
Provisional License: If your license is suspended for a first offense DUI or DUAC, you may be entitled to a provisional license while you await trial, provided you are enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.
Route Restricted License: If you are convicted of a DUI or DUAC, you may apply for a route restricted license that enables you to travel to and from work, to doctor appointments, and to drug and alcohol counseling for the duration of your suspension. If you have previously held a route restricted license due to a prior charge, you are ineligible.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID)Program: If you have had a previous DUI or DUAC and are ineligible for a route restricted license, you may be able to regain driving privileges if you have an IID installed on your vehicle. This is similar to a breathalyzer, and disables your vehicle if any amount of alcohol is detected.
Get Help Today
Speak with an experienced South Carolina DUI attorney to find out if any of these programs may apply in your case. Call or contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC online and request a free consultation in our Aiken, SC office today.