South Carolina has multiple penalties it assesses against those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. There is a possibility of jail time, especially for repeat offenders and those accused of a felony DUI offense. There will be fines assessed, in addition to court costs.
Drunk driving offenses typically also result in the temporary loss of your license. Is losing your driving privileges a foregone conclusion anytime you plead guilty to or get convicted of a DUI offense?
Yes, South Carolina has a mandatory license suspension rule
The penalties for drunk driving can be highly inconvenient, especially losing your driving privileges. Your prior record and the specific charges against you determine how long you will go without a license. The suspension for a first offense usually lasts for six months. A second offense will mean the suspension of your license for a year.
A third offense will carry different penalties depending on how long it’s been since your first DUI conviction. Three offenses within five years will mean the loss of your license for four years. Otherwise, a third DUI in South Carolina leads to a two-year suspension.
For those convicted of a fourth DUI, the state will revoke their license, meaning that they lose their driving privileges permanently. Anyone incarcerated for a felony DUI offense will face three years without their license after their serve their sentence in state custody.
You may be able to reinstate your license
Losing your license can affect your job and your entire family. It can also prove devastating for your budget, as taxis and rideshare services can be very expensive. While you cannot always avoid the suspension of your license after a DUI conviction, you may be able to reinstate your license, especially if you have already served part of your suspension.
If you absolutely cannot afford to go without your license even temporarily, then you may need to look into your different options for fighting the DUI charges you face. If you avoid a conviction, you won’t have to worry about criminal penalties. Learning more about the consequences of South Carolina DUI charges, especially for your driver’s license, can help those preparing for criminal court proceedings.