The following are some of the questions we most frequently get asked in relation to South Carolina DUIs and their effect on our clients’ driver’s licenses.
A: If you refused to give a breath sample or blew a .15 or greater, then the Officer probably took your license and your privilege to drive in South Carolina is suspended. The suspension is for six months in the case of a refusal and one month if you blew .15 or greater. In those cases it is best to request an administrative hearing which will enable you to get what is called a temporary alcohol license. REMINDER, you are dealing with the DMV. So there really is no answer on when you can get your temporary alcohol license after you have filed for an administrative hearing.
A: Not to sound like the parent of a teenager, but driving is a privilege and is not a right. There are two sides to a DUI case. One is the criminal side in which you are entitled to exercise your constitutional rights and have your guilt or innocence determined by a jury or a Court. However, there is also an administrative side through the DMV that many people forget about. This is called the Implied Consent law. It states that if you drive on the roads of the State of South Carolina, you have already given your implied consent to a breath or some other form of testing. You have the right to refuses these tests, but then the State has the right to revoke your privilege to drive.
A: Absolutely. At a Criminal trial the State has the burden of proving to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you operated a motor vehicle while your ability to drive was materially and appreciable impaired by drugs or alcohol. This is not the case at an Administrative hearing. At the administrative hearing there is only a hearing officer and there is no Judge or jury. The hearing officer is not there to determine if you committed the crime but whether or not the Police Officer followed the law in giving you a breath test.
It is possible for you to lose the administrate hearing and have your license suspended but at the same time win a criminal trial or have your criminal case ultimately dismissed. Likewise, it is also possible to lose your criminal case but win at the Administrative hearing. The hearing and the trial are like cousins. They are similar but they are not the same thing.
A: Even if you blew, you may not necessarily need to request an administrative hearing. The law states that your privilege to drive in South Carolina must be suspended if you refused to take the test or if your breath alcohol concentration was .15 or greater. If you blew below a .15 then your license will not be suspended and you do not need to request an administrative hearing.
A: This is probably sometime you don’t want to try to do yourself and hopefully you have already retained a lawyer. If that is the case then we’ll handle that for you.
A: There really is no answer to this one and it really depends. It could be a month or longer. The thing to remember is that the Temporary Alcohol license will last up until the hearing, so no matter when the hearing is scheduled, if you have the Temporary Alcohol license you will still be able to drive.
A: You must request the hearing within 30 days of your notice of suspension, which should be the same time you are arrested.
A: You will be sent a notice that you can obtain your temporary Alcohol license. This license will last you up until the time of the administrative hearing. At the hearing one of two things will happen. One, the suspension maybe lifted in which case your regular driver’s license will be restored. REMINDER, there are two parts to a DUI and this is just the Administrative side. It is still possible for your license to get suspended for six months if you are convicted of DUI or DUAC. Or the second possibility is that the suspension will be upheld.
A: If your license suspension is upheld then you will be required to turn in your temporary alcohol license and serve your suspension whether it be for one month for a BAC of .15 or greater or for 6 months for a refusal. In addition, you will be required to enroll in what is called an ADSAP class which stands for Alcohol Drug Action Safety Program. You must complete the ADSAP class in order to get your license back. REMINDER: At this point in the Process you only have to take an ADSAP class if your suspension is upheld.
A: Possibly. Again you’re dealing with the DMV, but you may be entitled to a special driving privilege. The DMV will send you a notice in the mail informing you of what driving privileges you may be entitled to and how to go about getting that license.
A: No. You should never get a provisional license until your case is resolved. You only get one provisional license a lifetime, so you may need to save it for later. The Administrative suspension is only one half of the battle. If you are convicted of DUI/DUAC then the DMV will suspend your license for another 6 months. That is when you would want to use your provisional.
A: No. Remember there are two parts to a DUI case. All this means is that you have gotten through the first part. You still have the criminal charges to deal with in criminal court.