DUI/Drunk Driving FAQ


Cole Law Firm has experienced DUI lawyers in Greenville SC,
Anderson & Clemson

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment, United States Constitution
drunk driving test


Why should I contest a DUI / drunk driving charge?

A DUI conviction will remain on your criminal history for the rest of your life, and it will remain on your South Carolina Driving Record for 10 years.

If you are a college student in South Carolina, you can lose your grants/scholarships and become ineligible for the refundable state income tax credit. Even worse, depending on what type of degree you are seeking, you may not be eligible to work in that industry with a DUI conviction. Many employers will not hire candidates with a DUI because it is an alcohol and drug related charge.

Many different types of businesses terminate employees that are convicted with DUI due to company policies on alcohol and drug use. Also, if you are convicted of a DUI and you are listed on your employer’s automobile insurance policy, you may be terminated from your job.

If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), it is very important for you to seek legal counsel to determine what your chances are in defeating a DUI charge. Under South Carolina law, if you are convicted of a 1st offense DUI, your CDL is disqualified for one year. If you are convicted with DUI and you were transporting hazardous materials, then your CDL is disqualified for 3 years.

If you are a traveling salesperson, pharmaceutical sales representative, or anyone who must use an automobile for employment, you are at risk of losing your job if you are convicted of a DUI.

If you are an out-of-state driver, more than likely your home state is a member of the Driver License Compact (DLC). If your home state is a member, then any violations committed out of state will be transferred and/or communicated back to your home state. If you are convicted of a DUI in South Carolina, your home state will be notified of the conviction. To see if your home state is a member of the DLC, click here.


What are the penalties for DUI?

The penalties depend on your blood alcohol concentration and whether or not you have had any previous DUI convictions within a 10 year period.

A DUI conviction in South Carolina requires you to pay high risk SR-22 insurance.

You must complete a required alcohol and drug program; treatment is mandatory for all offenses.

You must pay all assessed fees designated by the State of South Carolina.

Until October 1, 2014, a conviction of a DUI 2nd offense or greater, required you to have installed, on any motor vehicle you drive, an ignition interlock device (IID) designed to prevent driving of the vehicle if you have consumed alcoholic beverages.  This changed with the passing of Emma’s Law, effective October 1, 2014 and now applies to may 1st offense convictions!

Depending on what offense this is for you (DUI 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th felony DUI, etc…), you will either pay high court fines; be ordered to complete community service; be placed on house arrest; be placed on probation; need to enroll in the IIDP, or even serve jail time.

As you can see, the penalties for DUI are high, so contact the Cole Law Firm as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your case.


Why was my Drivers License suspended at the time of my arrest?

In South Carolina, as of February 10, 2009, if you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months.  This suspension time can be longer if you have had any prior administrative suspensions.  In addition, if you take the test and register at or above 0.15% blood alcohol content, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for at least 30 days.  Here again, this suspension time can be longer if you have had any prior administrative suspensions.

Within 30 days of your arrest date, you can request a Contested Case Hearing to contest this administrative suspension and apply for a temporary alcohol license.

Please note that this Contested Case Hearing is separate from the DUI hearing.  The DUI charge is a criminal violation, the administrative suspension is a civil violation.

If you were arrested for DUI and you took the test with a result less than 0.15%, then you will be able to keep your original driver’s license until you go to court for your DUI criminal charge.

As you can see, time is crucial for these cases.  Contact the Cole Law Firm as soon as possible to set up your free initial consultation.


What is an Interlock Ignition Device (IID)

South Carolina first enacted IID legislation in 2000 under §56-5-2941.  It was amended in 2009.  Again, prior to October 1, 2014 IID’s only were required for 2nd and subsequent convictions.  As of October 1, 2014 it now applies to many 1st offenses.

How the IID Works

When one who is required to have an IID attempts to start up his automobile he must blow into the device installed in the auto.  Randomly, as he is driving he has to blow into the device again each time the IID triggers the requirement.

If you are required to have an IID, have problems after the installation of an IID, or if you just have questions…call the Cole Law Firm for a free consultation.

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