The state considers driving to be a privilege, so the court system and the Department of Motor Vehicles will typically suspend or revoke the licenses of individuals convicted of DWIs. However, there may be a way suspended drivers in South Carolina can get restricted licenses to use until their suspensions end. Here is what needs to be done to make this happen.
Getting a Restricted License
Most of the time, defendants must wait until their suspension periods end before they can get their driving privileges reinstated. However, if the person is in school or employed, he or he may be able to get a restricted license that lets the individual drive to and from the school or place of employment.
To qualify for restricted licenses, defendants must show that their places of employment or schools are over one mile away from where they live and that there are no viable forms of public transportation available to take them where they need to go. Additionally, defendants must:
- File proof of SR22 insurance with the Department of Public Safety
- Pay a $100 restricted driver's license fee
- Have a South Carolina driver's license
- Be enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
- Not have any other suspensions pending against their licenses
If the DMV approves the defendant's application, the defendant can only drive from home to the approved location and back again. It's important to adhere to this rule. People who are caught driving on restricted licenses to unapproved places may have that license revoked and face an even longer suspension of their driving privileges. It's a good idea to speak to an attorney to fully understand the requirements of restricted licenses.
Reinstatement of Suspended License
After the suspension period passes, defendants must satisfy several requirements to have their regular licenses reinstated, including:
- Maintaining SR22 insurance for at least 3 years
- Paying $100 reinstatement fee
- Completing the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
- Getting an interlock ignition if the person has multiple DUI convictions
- Paying applicable fines and complete the other court requirements
As long as the person does not get into any further trouble, he or she will usually be able to drive legally again.
People arrested for driving while intoxicated can avoid the headache of dealing with suspended licenses by working with a criminal defense attorney to get the charges thrown out. For more information about fighting DWIs, contact a law firm such as Guth Law Offices LLC.