If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in South Carolina, the fine you receive won’t be the only price that you pay. Once you have pled guilty to your DUI charge, you must pay a fine as well as court fees. You will also need to receive SR-22 insurance for the next three years after your conviction. SR-22 insurance ranges from $1,500-$1,800 annually. To receive your route-restricted driver’s license, you will be required to pay $200 to the DMV for reinstatement fees. Finally, you will have to complete the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP), which costs upwards of $500. Pleading guilty to your first DUI charge will end up costing you thousands of dollars over the following years.
Insurance/ADSAP/and Route Restricted License: Loss or Limitations of Driving Privilege Beyond the Fines.
The initial issue that most drivers charged with DUI in South Carolina are concerned about is their ability to drive. Many people rely on their vehicle to make a living or take care of their families. Losing the right to drive can be far worse than a night in jail and a fine. When a person loses their driver’s license, it may cost them their job.
Individuals with a DUI charge might be dropped from their insurance company. It is unlawful to drive without insurance coverage. This means a driver will need to find another insurance company and obtain SR-22 insurance through them. They will then need to enroll in ADSAP, at that point they will be eligible to receive a route restricted license. This license will restrict the driver’s privileges to driving to school or work. It will also allow them to drive to and from ADSAP classes. They will find this license makes it very difficult to keep a job that requires them to travel to different locations or out of state.
Work and Work Related Impact of Driving Under the Influence
DUI charges in South Carolina, can cause more problems than just driving restrictions. DUI charges can affect a person’s job or ability to attain one. Employers may choose not to hire an individual that has an arrest associated with driving under the influence. There are many businesses that require their employee’s driving and/or criminal record to be spotless for insurance purposes.
A DUI charge is a misdemeanor crime. Punishment is dispensed in the form of a fine or up to 30 days in jail. Many businesses have annual renewal reviews for their employee insurance coverage and other employment reasons. A conviction on an employee’s record could affect the company’s premium rates, ability to obtain coverage, and can restrict an employee from being able to perform their duties.
Some jobs require their employees to maintain a clean criminal and driving record. Other jobs require an employee to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Once a DUI charge is on a person’s record, they will be unable to do these types of jobs. That means a DUI can cost a person their livelihood.
The Snowball Effect of Future DUI and DUI Related Convictions: Felony Status/Habitual Offender/ Ignition Interlock Device
If a person has pled guilty without consultation of a lawyer, and accepted the fine or penalty, future incidents can be much worse. After the first DUI conviction, future conviction penalties become much tougher. South Carolina laws calls for an increase in fines and a longer period of jail time up to two years.
Education Impact of DUI and DUI Conviction
DUI charges can impact a person’s ability to receive loans for college, or their ability to even attend certain colleges. There are sections in Loan and College applications that are specific to school disciplinary issues and criminal records. A conviction involving alcohol may put a prejudice on your application when it is being reviewed for approval or acceptance. The South Carolina Commission for Higher Learning states that should a student be found guilty or get convicted of DUI charge in the state of South Carolina, they will lose the ability to use certain scholarship programs for a period of time or it is possible the student could lose the scholarship entirely.
A DUI charge will remain on your driving record history for at least 10 years. If an employee is up for a promotion in South Carolina, and the employer requires a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) background check, not only could they be denied for the promotion, but hey could also lose their job completely. If the employee allows the background check to be run, and a DUI convection appears, the employer will likely choose another candidate that has a clean driving record. A person who wants to run for public office or go into politics will have a difficult time with a DUI charge on their record. These positions usually require an individual to have an untarnished record.
The best course of action is to never drink and drive. If, however, a driver is charged with a DUI in South Carolina, they should consult with a skilled and knowledgeable Greenville DUI attorney as soon as possible to protect their rights and their future. A first-offense DUI charge may seem harmless, but it can become a huge obstacle in a person’s future pursuits.