DUI offenses carry a number of penalties in South Carolina. These include jail time, fine, mandatory rehabilitation programs as well as license suspension. The penalties increase with each subsequent DUI offense.
Typically, the first penalty you will face after a DUI arrest is the license suspension. Your license will be confiscated by the officer making an arrest so that you no longer have a license to drive. You can appeal the suspension but your appeal may be rejected and it can still be months before you get your license back.
DUI License Suspension Penalties
For a first DUI offense in South Carolina, your license is suspended for 6 months, although you can apply for a provisional license. For blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.15% or higher, your license is suspended for another month.
You face a 1-year license suspension for the second DUI offense. During the suspension period, you can not apply for a provisional license. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 2 years after the suspension ends.
For the third DUI offense, South Carolina law stipulates that your license be suspended for 2 years. During this period, you can’t apply for provisional driving privileges. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device for 3 years.
Driving Under DUI Suspension
When you get a DUI citation, you suddenly lose your driving privileges. It can be frustrating and you may be tempted to drive under suspension. However, driving under suspension is a serious offense. If you are caught driving under suspension, you face additional penalties. If this happens while your DUI case is still ongoing, it can significantly impact the outcome of the case and lead to harsher DUI penalties.
Following are the penalties for driving under DUI suspension as per South Carolina laws:
- For a first offense, you face a mandatory jail time of 10 days with a maximum sentence of 30 days, or a $300 fine, or both.
- For a second offense, the prison sentence is 60 days to 6 months, or a fine of $600, or both.
- For a third offense of driving under DUI suspension, you can face a mandatory jail time of 6 months up to a maximum jail term of 3 years, or a fine of $1,000, or both.
- The original period of your license suspension may also be extended in the light of your driving under suspension offenses.
Reinstating Driver’s License After Suspension
Many drivers tend to believe that they can start driving once the DUI license suspension period is over. However, that is not the case. This misunderstanding often leads to driving under suspension offenses.
Once your license suspension period is over, you need to have your license reinstated with the DMV. This is easier said than done. You must meet a number of requirements before you can apply for reinstatement. These requirements include:
- SR-22 Certificate: This proves that you have met the auto insurance coverage requirements set by the state.
- Enrolling in ADSAP: You must enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP). This is a requirement for all license suspensions which are a result of a DUI charge.
- Reinstatement Fee: You are required to pay a reinstatement fee of $100. If your license has been revoked separately by the DMV and the court, you may have to pay $200.
How Can a Spartanburg, SC DUI Lawyer Help You?
When you face license suspension, you are understandably in a lot of stress. However, you have plenty of options which you can explore with the help of a lawyer. You can, for instance, appeal the suspension, seek to have the sentence reduced, apply for provisional or route-restricted licenses or seek other alternatives. With a qualified Spartanburg, SC DUI attorney at your side, you have a better chance of coming out of the suspension sooner.
Finding a Reliable DUI Attorney in Spartanburg, SC
The Bateman Firm specializes in handling DUI cases. Our Spartanburg attorneys can help you seek reduced DUI charges. We will also help you meet various requirements during license suspension and at the time of license reinstatement. By meeting these legal requirements promptly, you are able to get your license privileges back as soon as possible.
We also work with you to have the charges against you mitigated. In some cases, you may even plead for no license suspension citing your daily driving commitments. If you have been received a DUI citation and face license suspension, book a FREE consultation with our attorneys today and discuss your best options.