How Long Will I Lose My License for DUI?

South Carolina has an implied consent law, which means that any person who drives a motor vehicle in the state automatically consents to a breath, blood and urine test if arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Once at the police station, you will be asked to blow into the DataMaster DMT breath test machine.

Under the implied consent law, your license will be suspended only if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level registers at over .15 percent. However, if you refuse to submit to the DataMaster DMT test, your license will be suspended for a longer period of time.

How long will your driver's license be suspended for each subsequent DUI arrest within the past 10 years?

Number Of Prior ConvictionsBAC Of Over .15 percentBreath Test Refusal
01 month6 months
12 months9 months
23 months12 months
34 months15 months

First-time offenders have the option of electing to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle instead of having their license suspended if their BAC was between .08 and .14 percent. Additionally, under Emma's Law (effective Oct. 1, 2014), first-time offenders who have a BAC of over .15 will be required to install and drive with an ignition interlock device for at least six months.

If you are convicted of DUI, an additional license suspension will apply (outlined below), or your license could be revoked.

Driver's License Suspension for DUI Conviction

DUI/DUAC ChargeLicense Suspension Period
First offense6 months
Second offense1 year
Third offense2 years, but 4 years if within 5 years of first offense
Fourth offensePermanent revocation (loss of license)
Felony DUI3 years plus time served

You Still Have Options to Protect Your Driving Privileges

While your DUI criminal case is pending and immediately following your arrest, you may request an implied consent (administrative) hearing within 30 days of your license suspension to apply for a temporary alcohol restricted license (TARL). This license, which you should receive about one week after making a request, will allow you to continue to drive until the implied consent hearing. If the administrative hearing officer is convinced by your lawyer's arguments for your license reinstatement at the hearing, your suspension will end.

If you are unsuccessful at the administrative hearing, you may still apply for a route-restricted license, which allows you to drive while your license is suspended, but only to specific locations such as work, school, medical appointments and treatment programs.

If you are convicted of DUI or driving with unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC), you may apply for a provisional license, which carries the same restrictions of a route-restricted license.

Protect Your Driving Privileges — Limit Hardships

Please call us at 843-352-4149 or email us to schedule a free initial consultation with a Charleston area DUI lawyer. We have the answers to all of your DUI questions, and we will help you understand your full legal options.