losing license after dui

Law enforcement agencies and courts throughout South Carolina take allegations of drunk driving very seriously. In addition, state law provides for severe penalties after all drunk driving cases that end with a conviction or a person’s admission of guilt.

The simple fact of the matter is that any DUI conviction in South Carolina comes with severe penalties. These often include jail sentences, heavy fines, and a loss of driving privileges. One question that we often hear at Truslow & Truslow PA is “Do you lose your license for your first DUI in SC?” Unfortunately, state law does require a loss of license after any DUI conviction. Even so, it may be possible to keep driving after a conviction.

South Carolina’s DUI Laws

State law makes it clear that it is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. How the courts will deal with a guilty result in these cases depends on a variety of factors. These include:

  • The amount of alcohol in a person’s system
  • Whether the incident resulted in another’s injury or death
  • If the driver has any prior DUI convictions

Sadly, any conviction comes with severe penalties. According to South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930, a guilty finding comes with a mandatory jail sentence, the payment of heavy fines, a requirement to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program, and a suspension of a person’s driver’s license. Under state law, the mandatory minimum period of a loss of license is six months for a first-time DUI conviction in SC. However, this period may extend for additional months if a person’s blood/alcohol content is in excess of .15 percent.

Helping People Avoid the Disruptions that Accompany DUI Arrests and Convictions

While state law says that a six-month minimum loss of license is mandatory following a first DUI conviction in SC, it is possible to keep one’s driving privileges during this time. It may be possible to convince the court that a provisional license is appropriate. This allows a person to keep driving during their six-month license suspension.

However, the provisional license is not available in all cases. In most situations, a person must have a minimal criminal record with no prior DUI convictions. In addition, an aggravated DUI case because of an elevated blood/alcohol level upon arrest may dissuade a court from allowing the issuance of a provisional license.

Finally, people seeking a provisional license must be actively enrolled in the Alcohol Drug Safety Action Program. Not satisfactorily completing the Program could see the court revoking a provisional license.

A First-Time DUI Conviction in SC Comes with a Presumptive Loss of License

State law is clear in requiring all people who receive a first DUI conviction through a guilty plea, no-contest plea, or finding of guilt to lose their license for at least six-months. This even applies when a person has no criminal record or history of alcohol abuse.

Even so, it may be possible to continue driving during this suspension. A successful application for a provisional license allows a person to continue driving while attending the Alcohol Drug Safety Action Program. The team at Truslow & Truslow PA is dedicated to helping people facing first-time DUI charges in SC to minimize the impact of this event on their future. This includes helping them get back on the road as quickly and safely as possible. Reach out today to learn more.