A DUI conviction in South Carolina is a serious offense, and the General Assembly has enacted stiff penalties to punish South Carolina drivers who elect to get behind the wheel under the influence. Additionally, unknown to most, many of the consequences of a DUI arrest start prior to a conviction. Their ignorance of the law is due to no fault of their own. South Carolina laws are written in a way that make it confusing to those who do not have a law degree. However, with this short two part series we’ll give a brief overview in plain english of what happens after a DUI arrest in South Carolina.
Following the Arrest Your License may be Suspended
Following an arrest, the officer or state trooper who pulled you over will likely administer a breath test or blood test. If you refuse to participate in this test, your license will be suspended for six (6) months pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-5-2951. Additionally, if you take the test and your blood alcohol concentration (which is called “BAC” for short) is over .15% your license will be suspended. If your license is suspended you will be forced to enroll in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (called “ADSAP”) in order regain your license.
However, you can challenge your license suspension by requesting an “implied consent” hearing with the Administrative Law Court’s Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings (OMVH) within in thirty (30) days from receiving your notice of suspension. At Bailey Law Firm, we always challenge our client’s license suspensions by filing for an administrative hearing with the OMVH. If you are able to establish that the implied consent test was administered improperly, your licenses will be reinstated. If not, you suspension will be upheld. Additionally, while you are waiting on your administrative hearing, you can apply for a temporary license with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). This allows you to drive temporarily pending your implied consent hearing.
Your Traffic Ticket and Court Date
After the arrest you will be issued a traffic ticket. Below we’ve included a Uniform South Carolina Traffic Ticket which will look identical to the one issued after a DUI arrest.
This traffic ticket contains important information about your DUI arrest. It contains the officer’s name that issued the citation, the offense/statute, the court date, court location and time of arrest amongst other things.
Be sure to keep your traffic citation in a safe place so that you can give your attorney a copy if and when you retain one. The court dated mentioned on the citation is your actual bench trial date. It is a common practice at Bailey Law Firm to always get the court date listed on your initial citation pushed to a later date where we can challenge the citation during a jury trial. Never go to court without a lawyer. By doing so you’re risking the chance of being convicted without even putting up a fight.
Part two of this series which will cover bond conditions, as well as the effect a DUI arrest has on your criminal record and auto insurance premiums prior to a conviction.
If you have recently been arrested for a DUI in South Carolina, contact Bailey Law Firm. We’re experienced in handling South Carolina DUI cases from start to finish, and we will fight to get your charges dropped.