Can I Get a Temporary or Restricted Driver's License After a DUI in SC?

Getting charged with a DUI is hard enough. Then the mounting stress associated with potential consequences, including fines and even jail time, doesn’t make it easier.

To top it all off, you need to figure out what to do now that your license been suspended.

How will you get to work? To and from the grocery store?

And what about the kids? Who will pick them up from school? And how will you explain your DUI charge to them?

These are all questions that have probably never crossed your mind before the DUI. What happens next, including how long your license will be suspended, depends on your blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest and number of DUI offenses you’ve incurred over the look-back period (10 years).

How long will my license be suspended?

For a first offense, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 6 months.

However, you may be eligible for a temporary or restricted driver’s license after a DUI in SC.

In Charleston, a police officer can confiscate your driver’s license if you’ve been pulled over for a possible DUI and

  1. Refuse to take a breath test within 2 hours of when you were last driving or

  2. Your blood alcohol concentration is above .15.

In either case, you will be issued a blue notice of suspension form at the testing site, which means you have 30 days to request a hearing with the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings.

Temporary restricted license

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Charleston, SC, you can apply for a temporary alcohol restricted driver’s license. This will give you driving privileges anywhere within South Carolina without restrictions prior to your hearing.

You must first request an administrative hearing

If you’re hoping to be granted a temporary alcohol restricted license, be sure to schedule your hearing right away. You will need to submit your original notice of suspension and a $200 administrative hearing fee.

The DMV may issue you a temporary license to drive within South Carolina once you complete the following tasks:

  1. Reinstatement fee of $100 to the DMV

  2. Demonstrate you have a hearing scheduled by showing your paperwork with the administrative hearing details.

This process typically takes 2 to 7 days. So to avoid delays, be sure to follow all instructions on your notice of suspension.

For a faster notice of hearing, include your email address on your notice of suspension form.

Fee to request an administrative hearing

The filing fee to request an administrative hearing for a DUI charge in Charleston, SC is $200. Although some older forms may incorrectly state the fee as only $150.

To avoid any possible conflict with the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings, however, it is advisable to pay the full $200. Usually a bank check or money order is required. Personal check are not accepted. Make sure to look at your suspension form for exact details.

Special restricted license

After the hearing, if the suspension is not upheld, your regular driver’s license will be returned to you. If the hearing results in a formal conviction, once your notice of suspension has been received, your temporary alcohol restricted license will no longer be valid.

However, if you are currently employed or attending college, you could be eligible for a special restricted license.

This type of license is only valid when driving directly to or from school or work. In order to qualify, you will need proof that your work or school destination is greater than a mile from your home and that you do not have access to suitable public transportation.

Should you hire a DUI attorney?

Should you decide to retain an attorney, he or she will assist you in the hearing request process. Keep in mind that even with an attorney, the hearing request must be made within 30 days after receiving the suspension notice.

Because your attorney will need adequate time to understand your particular case and complete the necessary paperwork, it is imperative that you contact an attorney experienced in South Carolina DUI immediately after receiving your notice,

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