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Will a South Carolina DUI conviction cost someone their driver’s license?

Certain driving infractions can affect someone’s driver’s license in South Carolina. The more traffic infractions someone has on their record and the more severe they are, the greater the likelihood that their driver’s license could be at risk.

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are among the most serious driving offenses that occur in South Carolina. Those accused of a DUI will generally go to criminal court instead of simply paying a ticket. If they plead guilty or get convicted, a judge could sentence them to jail time or probation and may impose large fines as well. Additionally, people often worry that a DUI conviction will mean that they will lose their driver’s license.

License suspension is a standard penalty

The goal behind the penalties outlined in South Carolina is both punishment for the person accused of breaking the law and a deterrent against future violations. A license suspension serves as both a significant penalty and a strong deterrent. Losing the privilege of driving can put someone’s job at risk and may increase how much it costs them to conduct their daily life. They may face many challenges when handling basic tasks, like taking their children to school or buying groceries.

License suspensions largely depend on someone’s previous criminal record. A first-time DUI offense usually results in up to six months of license suspension. A second DUI conviction could mean up to a full year without a driver’s license. Those convicted of a third DUI will lose their licenses for two years. If the third offense occurs within five years of someone’s first DUI, the license suspension could increase to four years. A fourth offense could lead to permanent license revocation.

As a secondary concern, when someone does get their driver’s license back after a DUI suspension, they can expect that they will pay substantially more for liability insurance on their vehicle. Those who are familiar with the consequences of a conviction may better understand the value of defending against a DUI charge. Reviewing the possible penalties that a judge may impose after a conviction and seeking legal guidance accordingly may help someone better respond to a pending charge.