DUI has always been a serious offense in South Carolina and most states around the country. State governments have been very strict regarding DUI as they want to reduce escalating auto accidents across the country. With DUIs contributing to at least 11,654 deaths in 2020, local authorities have been left without any other option other than to formulate tough measures against DUI.
Therefore, as a driver in Southern Carolina, it’s essential to pay attention to traffic laws in the state, especially those associated with DUI. Importantly, it’s essential to understand the associated penalties to have sufficient information on how to go about it.
What Are the Possible Penalties for DUI in South Carolina?
As highlighted earlier, DUI is a serious offense in South Carolina, which means you’re bound to severe penalties when caught. Understanding the associated penalties will enable you to avoid being caught in a compromising situation or prepare for defense where necessary.
Some of the common DUI penalties in South Carolina include:
Mandatory drug rehabilitation
It doesn’t sound too bad. After all, it’s just drug rehabilitation. However, you may not know that the cost of going to drug rehabilitation can be too high to pay, which means that you still face significant consequences. You might look for debts as the only way to finance your rehabilitation.
Driver’s license suspension
After a DUI arrest, you stand the chance of having your driver’s license suspended for at least six months. The length of the suspension will increase with subsequent arrests. After the third arrest, you might have your driver’s license permanently revoked. This is something you should avoid at all costs, as it will have a significant impact on your life.
You might be required to offer community service as one of the DUI penalties in South Carolina. The number of hours you’ll be required to offer will depend on the severity of your offense and whether it’s your first, second, or third arrest. In most cases, the community service will not exceed 45 hours. In severe situations, the number of hours you will work for community service might be extended.
Over the years, people have faced extreme penalties for driving under the influence in South Carolina. One of the main penalties that people have been facing is jail time. You might have a perception that jail time is not a possibility.
However, trends show that any form of penalty or fine will likely happen. This is mostly possible if you’ve been caught driving under the influence several times. You must be careful and avoid such DUI in South Carolina.
Installation of an ignition interlock device
The court might order installing an ignition interlock device, a machine that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. With this device, you can no longer drink and drive, which is the whole point of the penalty.
How Many DUIs Before Your License Is Permanently Revoked In South Carolina?
While it’s unlikely that the first or second DUI conviction in South Carolina leads to permanent license renovation, it’s still possible. In most cases, your license will be permanently revoked after the third DUI conviction.
This is because the state has a “three-strikes” policy regarding DUI, which means you’ll face more severe penalties for each subsequent offense. Therefore, if you’re caught DUI three times, you’ll most likely have your license permanently revoked.
What Happens If My Driver’s License Is Permanently Revoked?
If your driver’s license is permanently revoked, you’ll no longer be able to drive in South Carolina. This means that you’ll have to find alternative means of transportation, which can be quite difficult, especially if you live in a rural area. You might also have to find alternative means of income if your job requires you to drive.
This can be a significant challenge, which is why it’s important to avoid having your license permanently revoked in the first place. However, some drivers drive even after their license has been permanently revoked. If you’re caught driving with a permanently revoked license, you’ll be subject to even more severe penalties, which can include:
- Jail time
- Large fines
- Possible vehicle impoundment
Can You Get a Revoked License Back?
Getting your driver’s license back after it has been permanently revoked is possible, but it’s not easy. You’ll have to go through a lengthy and complicated process, which can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t have a lawyer. You need to file a petition with the court, which can be lengthy and complicated.
You’ll also need to submit proof that you’re no longer a danger to the community, which can be difficult. In most cases, it’s best to hire a lawyer to help you with this process. If you’re successful in your petition, you’ll have to go through a hearing, which can be quite difficult. Sometimes, the court might order you to install an ignition interlock device in your car before they reinstate your license.
If you can get your license back, you’ll need to be extra careful. This is because one more DUI offense will permanently revoke your license.
How Can an Experienced Attorney Help With South Carolina License Suspension?
If you have a pending DUI conviction or your license has been permanently revoked, it’s important to hire an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you with the appeals process and improve your chances of getting your license back. They can also help you understand the DUI laws in South Carolina and what you need to do to avoid having your license permanently revoked.
At David Aylor Law Offices, our team of experienced DUI attorneys has helped many drivers in South Carolina get their licenses back. We know the ins and outs of the appeals process and can help you every step of the way.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
DUI Defense FAQs
I’ve been charged with a DUI. Do I need a lawyer?
It’s always a good idea to hire a lawyer if you’ve been charged with a DUI in South Carolina. An experienced attorney can help you understand the charges against you and what you can do to fight them.
How much does it cost to hire a DUI attorney in South Carolina?
The cost of hiring a DUI attorney in South Carolina will vary depending on the lawyer’s experience and the severity of your case.