How Do I Get My Driver’s License Back After DUI?


Being hit with a DUI charge can prove to be a major setback. Aside from the legal trouble, there’s the very real possibility of losing your driving freedom. The worry and confusion may feel like a lot to handle. Here at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs, we want to ease your worries.

That’s why we put together this straightforward guide on how to navigate getting your license back after a DUI conviction here in South Carolina. We want to break down your options, plain and simple.

Understanding License Suspension After a DUI

In South Carolina, a DUI conviction means your driver’s license is automatically suspended. This suspension length varies. Factors influencing it include your blood alcohol content (BAC) during the arrest, whether it’s a first-time or repeat offense, and if other factors worsened the situation.

The legal BAC limit in South Carolina is under 0.08%. Generally, a first DUI with a BAC under 0.15 often leads to a six-month suspension. However, a BAC of 0.15 or higher could mean a year without driving privileges.

This license suspension is distinct from any jail time or fines for the DUI. It’s an administrative action by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), with a different process than criminal court proceedings.

Options for Regaining Your License

Getting your license back after a DUI case requires going through a few hurdles. But the good news is that you can reinstate your driving privileges depending on your individual circumstances:

Provisional Driver’s License

This temporary license allows essential driving during your suspension. Qualifying involves several requirements. You need a valid South Carolina license at the time of the offense, enrollment in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP), and payment of a $100 fee.

Your eligibility also depends on the DUI date and your BAC. For instance, a DUI on or after October 1, 2014, with a BAC of 0.14 or below might qualify you. However, no other unrelated suspensions can be on your record.

Route Restricted Driver’s License

This license type restricts your driving to specific locations, like work, school, or court-ordered programs. It lasts for your suspension’s duration but note that it can only be obtained as a one-time option. Exceptions to this rule include cases like unpaid child support or driving under suspension.

Applying involves completing the Application for a Route Restricted Driver’s License and sending it to the SCDMV. Note that this license is typically unavailable to non-U.S. citizens, except those with permanent resident status.

Temporary Alcohol License (TAL)

If you’ve decided to challenge your license suspension by requesting a hearing, a temporary alcohol license might be available. This license lets you drive while waiting for the hearing outcome and costs $100.

Just keep in mind that the hearing results will determine if you can keep this license. If the suspension is upheld, you’ll have to return the TAL. At that point, a route-restricted license could become a possibility.

How Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs Can Help

It’s inevitable to find yourself dealing with roadblocks when you try to regain your license on your own following a DUI conviction. The process often involves filing paperwork containing legal jargon and other technical terms you may not fully understand.

That’s why our seasoned legal team at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs is dedicated to guiding you through the process. We understand the intricacies of license reinstatement and will clarify any confusion you might have about eligibility for various license types.

We recognize that every case has unique details and nuances. Our approach focuses on your individual circumstances to tailor a strategy that gets you back on the road. We advocate for your rights, handling paperwork and court appearances on your behalf.

Rest assured, you’ll receive transparent communication and unwavering support from our team of lawyers with extensive experience in similar cases.

Image is of a driver's license application saying its been approved, concept of regaining driver's license after a DUI

Additional Considerations

Regaining your license is just one part of the picture. Remember that other consequences may accompany a DUI conviction. For one, you may have to deal with the possibility of your car insurance rates going up. This means you may have to start shopping around for a new insurance provider and making financial adjustments accordingly.

If an accident or injuries were involved, there might be separate legal issues. Things can quickly escalate particularly when you get accused of being at fault of an accident resulting in injuries. We can help you understand these and make sure you’re protected on all fronts.

Get One Step Closer Toward Regaining Your License

Facing a DUI charge doesn’t have to mean the end of your driving days. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs be your first step towards getting back on track. A simple conversation during a consultation can open up new possibilities. We’re here to help you regain control and confidently navigate this difficult situation.

Call our office today at (803) 649-5338 and schedule an appointment.