A User-Friendly Guide to DUI in South Carolina



If you’ve been arrested for DUI in South Carolina, it can be an intimidating and frightening experience.  Cromer Law Offices, LLC highly recommends seeking the best possible legal advice to help walk you through the process and ensure you receive expert representation.  The following user-friendly guide to DUI in South Carolina, along with a good lawyer, should help you through the initial phases:

1.  You were most likely offered a breath or blood test to determine your level of intoxication. 

  1. If you refused either of these tests, your license is automatically suspended for 6 months, and you will be required to enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP).
  2. If you took the test and your blood-alcohol concentration was .15 or higher, your license is automatically suspended and you will be required to enroll in ADSAP.
  3. If you blew a .14 or less, your license should not have been suspended and you may continue driving with you current license, and with your current insurance until your DUI charge is resolved.

2.  Your license is suspended. 

It is important to note that you can challenge this suspensionBubba Cromer DUI Attorney can help you request an implied consent hearing within 30 days.  Here are some answers to questions that I hear every week.

Question: My license has been suspended.  Is it possible to obtain a temporary license while I await a hearing?

Answer: Yes.  A temporary alcohol license can be obtained while you await a hearing, and it is not restricted to a particular route.  If you challenge the hearing, do not apply for a route-restricted license; instead, immediately apply for a hearing in order to obtain your temporary license.  Do not confuse a route-restricted license with a temporary alcohol license.  They are very different.  Additionally, you are only eligible for a route-restricted license one (1) time!

Question: How long does it take to obtain a temporary license?

Answer: The DMV will receive notice of your hearing request within 2-7 days, so it’s important to apply for a hearing immediately.

Question: Can I drive while I await a temporary alcohol license?

 Answer: Absolutely not!  Under no circumstances should you drive with a suspended license.  If you are caught driving with a suspended license, this will decrease your chances of receiving a favorable resolution to your DUI charge.  It will also add another serious offense to your driving record and cost you even more money in fines.

3.  Your car was most likely impounded.

Question: What do I do if my car was impounded?

Answer: Typically, cars involved in DUI offenses are towed.  Bubba Cromer DUI Attorney recommends getting your car back as soon as possible.  The daily cost is high.  Your ticket will indicate where the car was towed.  You will need to take two (2) people with you to retrieve your car (one to drive you there and another to drive the impounded car to your home).  Again, you should not drive your car or anyone else’s with a suspended license.

4.  Understanding your ticket


Question: How do I make sense of this ticket?

Answer: Your ticket has important information on it that will help you determine your court date and other important information.  From the sample ticket below, you will notice several boxes with pertinent information to your case.

Date, time, and location of Trial – This is your first court date, along with the time.  A DUI conviction is possible on this date.  Cromer Law Offices, LLC recommends you seek legal advice and do not go to court alone.  Further, if you do not show up, the court will try and convict you in your absence.  If you have not hired an attorney by the time your court date is called, we recommend that you show up and tell the judge you are in the process of hiring an attorney.

Blood Alcohol Content – The far bottom right box indicates your blood alcohol content.  If you refused the test, the officer will note that in the box as well.  In this case it will usually say “ref” or “refused”.

 5.  Other traffic or criminal charges

 Question: What if I have additional traffic or criminal charges?

Answer: Carefully review all the paperwork you received in the event you were charged with other criminal, misdemeanor, or traffic violations.  By looking at the bottom of your Bail Proceeding Form, Bubba Cromer DUI Attorney can help you determine if any other charges are pending.

 6.  Your Bail Proceeding Form 


Question: I got out of jail on “Bail”, but what does that really mean?

Answer: Don’t leave South CarolinaThe sample Bail Form, used at nearly every bail/bond proceeding in South Carolina, indicates that the defendant is released from custody on the condition that he/she will appear before the court and may not leave the State without permission of the court.

Question: What if there are other special conditions?

Answer: Check the reverse side of the form and the section titled Special Conditions of Release.  Any other conditions of your bail will be listed here.  You definitely need to obey these conditions if you don’t want a deputy knocking at your door for a return trip to jail.

Question: What happens to my criminal record after a DUI arrest?

Answer: SLED keeps arrest records for all individuals who have been booked and fingerprinted.  This does not indicate that you were convicted of DUI.   You will only have a DUI on your record if you plead guilty, of if you are convicted at trial. If you hire Cromer Law Offices, LLC, we include legally expunging your arrest record as part of our job. Remember: DUI convictions cannot be expunged from a record. See more at this link. Remember, after you are CONVICTED of DUI, there is no expunging that conviction like there is with several other types of convictions.

7.  Special Insurance after a DUI arrest

Question: Will I need Special insurance after I am arrested for DUI?

Answer: Until you have been convicted of a DUI, you do not require SR-22 Insurance, which is more expensive than regular automobile insurance and is required if you are convicted of DUI or DUAC.

bubba-cromerBubba Cromer DUI Attorney has over 25 years of experience helping individuals navigate the legal nuances of a DUI arrest in South Carolina.  We have a proven track record of providing the best representation possible, offering our clients a wealth of knowledge and the best possible outcome.  Make Cromer Law Offices, LLC your first call.   It will be most helpful to us if you have your ticket in front of you when you do.  Our professionals can be reached at (803) 254-7900.



Posted in Legal Advice

3 thoughts on “A User-Friendly Guide to DUI in South Carolina

  1. Howard on said:

    Have a Duac when in College. On Nov 11,2016 will be the five year mark. I have a degree in Criminal Justice from USC and I am serving in the National Guard with a security clearance. I can not go to Police Acdemy, I am told until one year after ( making it 6 years). I no longer have SR22 and have a letter from the SCDMV that my 3 years are up with them. Now I have to wait 1 more year from Nov 11, 2016 to have a clean driving record. Which I do to this point. Is there any way to get this off my record so I can continue on with my life and be able to proceed on to the Police Acdemy?

  2. Sutton Turner on said:

    I never knew that you could challenge your suspended license after a DWI. My friend recently had to get an attorney for her case. I appreciate the guide on DUIs.

  3. Adriana on said:

    I was arrested in December 2015 for a DUI in South Carolina. I was a Georgia resident at the time but moved back to Alaska in August 2017. The lawyer I hired just found me in September 2018. Because he stated he had no way of getting a hold of me but all of a sudden he reached me. He stated that we’re going to charge me with reckless driving or I had to appear in court. I had to move back up to Alaska because I had to fight to get custody of my child. Also I ended up loosing my job not so long after he texted me. And i call today to a Mr. lucky in South Augusta staying he doesn’t want to hear my problems. That Thursday of 2018 they are going to proceed with a tral. I couldn’t pay the money bc of loosing my job and I was only paid twice a month at that. Since then I had stop drinking and haven’t got any other tickets since then . I’m not sure what is suppose to follow on this charge when it was almost hitting the three year mark and I never heard anything from the courts or my lawyer . I do need some advice or help on this please bc I can’t leavr the state with my child and I just started my new job yesterday.

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