According to the NHTSA, South Carolina recorded the 10th highest amount of drunk driving deaths in 2020, a 14% rise in DUI fatalities from 276 in 2019 to 315. Given these and other sobering facts, South Carolina treats DUI offenses severely, and your license may be suspended as a penalty if caught on the wrong side of the law.
Has Your License Been Suspended in Myrtle Beach?
License suspensions range from one week to several months, depending on the degree of your offense. However, the penalty for first-time offenders is occasionally less severe than consequent citations. The state may also decide to give a jail sentence, fine and mandatory rehabilitation.
A long period without your driver’s license could completely change your life’s direction and productivity. It would be best to work with an experienced DUI attorney when charged with traffic offenses, as they can bargain the fairest DUI license suspension period possible. A lawyer will also guide you on the best way to get your license back after a DUI in Myrtle Beach.
So, what happens after your license is suspended? Can you reapply for license reinstatement before the suspension period elapses? What if you have fully served your suspension time? How do you get your license back after a DUI? We have the answers below.
What Does the Law Say About DUI Driver’s License Suspension?
South Carolina has broad traffic laws, including driving under the influence (DUI) penalties. Most cases vary depending on their nature, damage caused, and the victims involved. However, standard penalties include a six-month suspension for first-time offenders, nine months for the second, and 12 or more months for third-time offenders. Where do you fall?
The judge also has the liberty of sentencing you independently of these guidelines. With an experienced DUI lawyer by your side and depending on the nature of your case, you can get away with only a few weeks of suspension.
If you are booked four or more times within a stipulated look-back period, your license can be suspended for up to three years. Additionally, you may be charged with a felony, in which case your license is permanently suspended in South Carolina. Drivers serving their suspension period may face even more severe penalties if caught driving within that period.
License Reinstatement Requirements
Once your license is suspended, you have three options:
Apply for a provisional driver’s license
Most DUI first-time offenders may apply for a provisional license if they plead guilty to the charge. This license category allows you to drive to work, grocery stores, school, or social activities, including court hearings.
You may be eligible for this license if you are a registered SC resident, have no prior suspensions, and are enrolled in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP). Additionally, you must possess an SR-22 insurance certificate and may be forced to install a BAIID in your car.
Remember, a provisional driver’s license is only valid for the duration of the suspension.
Apply for a route-restricted license
Since provisional licenses are only for first-time offenders, second-time offenders may apply for a route-restricted driver’s license, which allows them to drive to specific locations using specific routes only. The license can only be applied once in a lifetime and is available for the following offenses:
- Alcohol violation
- High blood alcohol concentration
- Accident Judgment
- False insurance certification
- Implied consent
- Misrepresentation of identity
Apply for a Temporary Alcohol Restricted License (TARL)
TARL is available to suspects who have refused to take a breathalyzer test and are due for an administrative hearing on the case. Hence, this license is available to suspects who have not yet been convicted but have their licenses withheld. TARL becomes invalid after conviction, and you may have to apply for a provisional or route restricted license if found guilty.
These options may be a lifeline during the suspension, but they are often expensive and may take a long time to process. You may have to reapply for a driver’s license reinstatement at the end of the suspension period.
How to Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated in 4 Easy Steps
Step 1: Payout all suspension fines
The law requires driver’s license reinstatement applicants to pay up all fines related to traffic offenses before they can apply for reinstatement. It is always wise to settle these fines early during your suspension period to avoid inconveniences when the period elapses.
Step 2: Pay the application fees
You must also pay a fee before handing in your application forms. The standard fees start at $100 but may increase depending on the nature of your suspension. In most cases, suspension due to point accumulation, failed BAC test, or first offenses only require paying the standard fee, while subsequent offenses attract higher fees.
You will also be required to pay up license reissue fees that may spill well over $300. Fortunately, the state offers friendly payment plans through the South Carolina DMV.
Step 3: Fill out all the application forms
You must submit a duly-filled driver’s license reinstatement form and supporting documents to the SCDMV. Make sure you get approval signatures where needed and in the appropriate format.
Step 4: Complete required programs
Sometimes, the courts may subject you to a drug rehabilitation program which you must fulfill before you reapply for your license. South Carolina DMV does not make exceptions when issuing license reinstatement, and you will not qualify for reinstatement without proof or rehabilitation.
In other cases, you might be required to attend a Drunk Driving School where you get to sharpen your skills and affirm the success of your rehabilitation. You may also have to install BAIID (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) in your car and keep it on at all times.
Once these processes are completed, you will be free to reapply for a driver’s license supported by a reinstatement letter from SCDMV.
Frequently Asked Questions about DUI License Reinstatement in Myrtle Beach, SC
Would I be required to pay for a driver’s license reinstatement?
The reinstatement fee for suspended licenses in SC is $100-200, depending on your penalty.
How long does a license reinstatement take in SC?
The process takes 2 – 6 weeks, depending on the required materials.
How can my attorney help with my driver’s license reinstatement?
Your attorney can help reduce the suspension period or overturn the sentence if possible. They can also guide you through the reinstatement application processes.
How Can a DUI Attorney From David Aylor Law Offices Help You?
If you have had your driving license suspended in Myrtle Beach after a DUI, you are not alone. Our experienced Myrtle Beach DUI attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices can help you regain your driving license. Don’t fight alone. Get in touch with us for a free case evaluation.