How Do I Restore My Driver’s License After a DUI in South Carolina?
Being able to drive is vitally important to most people in South Carolina. Losing your driver’s license can have a devastating impact on you and your family. Living without a license isn’t just an inconvenience.It can make the difference between maintaining a job and unemployment.
That’s why restoring your driver’s license after a DUI arrest is likely your top priority. However, to restore driving privileges to your license, you need to know what your license revocation means, how long it will last, and how you can fight to minimize the damage.
The DUI defense lawyers at The Jeffcoat Firm understand that the punishment for a simple mistake can have a major impact on your life. We are here to help explain what your license suspension means, and what you can do about it so you can begin planning for your future. If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, contact us by phone or online as soon as possible for help.
How Long Will My Drivers License Revocation Last?
A license can be suspended or revoked for a number of reasons. While this article will primarily deal with DUIs, your license might also have been suspended for anything from accumulating too many points on your driving record (12 or more in South Carolina) to not paying your speeding tickets.
Different causes for suspension can lead to different lengths of revocation, and there is even some flexibility within an offense. For instance, accumulating too many traffic points can be anywhere from a three- to six-month suspension.
Your suspension length is highly dependent on your driving history and the severity of the charges in the case of a DUI. The length of suspension will likely fall between six months and three years.
However, if you are caught driving on a suspended license, that suspension can be lengthened, even potentially doubling the initial suspension.
For those looking for a quick way to restore their driver’s license after a DUI, this is perhaps bad news, but there are ways to work around this system. One option is to apply for a restricted driver’s license. If you have a valid South Carolina driver’s license, have already enrolled in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program, have already placed an SR22 on file with the South Carolina DMV, and have no other pending suspensions on your record, you can pay a relatively small fee ($100) and receive a restricted license that allows you to avoid some of the more severe consequences of a suspended license such as the risk of job loss.
There may be other methods to improve the outlook of your suspension, as we will discuss further below.
Drivers License Restoration Requirements
Just as the length of your license revocation will depend on the specifics of your driving history and your DUI charges, so too there is some flexibility in the requirements to restore your license.
Restoring your driver’s license after a DUI arrest will always include the completion of an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. You will also have to pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
You may also be required to get an SR22 insurance certificate from your insurance company, which must be maintained for a specific period of time, usually at least three years. The SR22 certificate proves you have liability coverage, and is a standard requirement after a DUI arrest.
There may be other requirements to restore your license as well, including paying any other fines included in your sentence by the court. All fines can be paid online with the South Carolina DMV. For those who cannot afford to pay their fees all at once, there are reinstatement payment plans available.
If you have had multiple DUIs, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device. These devices test the level of alcohol or other drugs in your system before allowing you to start your vehicle.
Whatever the requirements, you will be expected to meet them after the period of suspension has been concluded. These are additional steps to restore your driver’s license after a DUI, not a separate path to restoration.
License Suspension Hearings & Appeals
Finding a way to restore driving privileges as soon as possible is the goal of most anyone who is dealing with a suspended license. The good news is that there may be a reason to reduce your suspension or remove the suspension entirely.
South Carolina offers a system of suspension hearings and appeals to review your case to make sure the sentencing was fair, and that guilt was well established.
In order to contest your license suspension and argue to restore your driver’s license after a DUI, you can contact the South Carolina Administrative Law Court by calling (803) 734-0550. Or, you can go to the court and request a hearing in person at:
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 224
Edgar A. Brown Building
Columbia, SC 29201
If you decide to pursue an appeal, you should hire a qualified DUI defense lawyer to represent you. A DUI defense lawyer will have the expertise to advise you on your best strategy to reduce your suspension or overturn it entirely.
Get Legal Help from an Experienced South Carolina DUI Defense Attorney
The South Carolina DUI attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm don’t want you to lose the driving privileges that you depend on. We are ready to advocate for you to reduce or remove your suspension.
If your license was suspended after a DUI in or around Lexington or Columbia, contact us by phone or chat with us live to set up an appointment today. We will work hard to get you back on the road and back to your life as soon as possible.
Mr. Jeffcoat, a native of the Columbia area, founded the law firm in 1999. Mr. Jeffcoat got his undergraduate degree at Wofford College in 1994, majoring in Political Economy and Philosophy, and then went to the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he received his J.D. in 1997. After working in two law firms following his graduation from law school, Jeffcoat ventured out on his own to launch The Jeffcoat Firm in March of 1999.