Being convicted for a DUI can be an intimidating experience with an array of legal consequences -- one of which is the suspension of your SC driver's license.
In South Carolina, the suspension of your driver’s license will vary based on the number of DUI violations that have occurred within a 10-year period. Here's how it works:
South Carolina lawmakers are committed to reducing the number of DUIs in the state. So even first offenders will face license suspension for six months. This is a mandatory suspension unless contested in an administrative hearing.
If you receive a second offense in the 10-year, look-back period, under South Carolina DUI law, your license will be suspended for 1 full year.
The rules for the third offense are a little less simple. The standard driver’s license suspension period after your third offense is 2 years. However, if the suspensions occurred within a 5 year period, the suspension would be increased to 4 years.
For DUI offenses that occur after 7 years, you could petition the circuit court for reinstatement but would have meet certain requirements, including
No DUIs or DUS (driving under suspension) violations within the previous seven years
Completed the Alcohol, Drug and Safety Action Program (ADASAP)
Once you have reached your fourth offense, the state of South Carolina will revoke your license. If, however, the fourth offense occurs within a 5-year period, your license will be terminated.
You will be charged with a felony DUI if you've caused “great bodily injury” or death to a person other than yourself. This could include a passenger, another driver or pedestrian.
Great bodily injury is defined as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or one that causes serious or permanent loss or disfigurement.
If you are charged with a felony DUI in South Carolina, not only will your license be suspended for 3 years but you will also have to serve jail time.
In addition to having your license suspended, South Carolina will also require a SR-22 for each offense.
SR-22 provides proof that you’re maintaining liability coverage. The SR-22 form is a state-required certificate provided by your auto insurance carrier with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
What if I failed to pay SR-22?
If you fail to pay the SR-22, your driver’s license will be suspended indefinitely. If the 3-year requirement period for the original suspension has ended, SR-22 certificate is not required.
What if I decide not to drive a car, do I still need to pay SR-22?
The short answer, is yes. Your obligation is to the OTHER drivers on the road that are being protected from your high risk classification.
What if I failed to pay a traffic ticket?
Similar to failing to pay the SR-22, not paying a traffic ticket will result in an indefinite suspension period.
DUI convictions can haunt you for the rest of your life. This sort of permanent mark on your record can result in future roadblocks, both personally and professionally. Not to mention, the process navigating through the complicated South Carolina DUI law can be overwhelming and frustrating.