What is a provisional DUI license? 

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence in SC, your driver’s license is suspended. Even if you have not been convicted, your license may already be suspended if you refused the breathalyzer or took the breathalyzer and the result was .15% or greater. 

You need to get back on the road, but what can you do? 

In this article, we will discuss the different types of provisional licenses that may be available to help you get where you’re going, including:

  • Provisional licenses,
  • Temporary alcohol restricted licenses,
  • Route restricted licenses, and
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) requirements. 

Provisional Licenses for DUI Suspensions

What is a provisional license and why do you need one? 

You may need a provisional license if:

  • You have been charged with DUI along with an implied consent suspension based on refusing the breathalyzer or taking the breathalyzer where the result was .15% or greater,
  • You have been convicted of DUI and your license is suspended, or
  • Your license has been suspended for another reason like loss of points or a criminal conviction that carries a license suspension.

In SC, your driver’s license will be suspended for even your first DUI conviction. It may be suspended even if you are not convicted of DUI if you have an implied consent violation. 

Below, we will discuss the three types of provisional licenses that may help you get back on the road depending on your circumstances, but there may be additional hurdles before you can drive again, including:

  • SR-22 insurance,
  • Enrolling in alcohol classes/ ADSAP (Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program),
  • Resolving multiple suspensions,
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) requirements, and
  • DMV and IID fees. 

Types of Provisional DUI Licenses

There are three types of provisional DUI licenses that are available in SC – each type is used in different scenarios that we’ll discuss below. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for one or more provisional licenses or none at all.

Temporary Alcohol License

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI (driving under the influence) or DUAC (driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration), and you either 1) refused the breathalyzer test or 2) you took the test and the result was .15% or greater, your license was immediately suspended under SC’s implied consent laws. 

If this is your situation, you need to immediately request an administrative hearing (there is a $200 fee) or have your attorney file the administrative hearing request on your behalf – if you do not file the request within 30 days, you will lose your right to an administrative hearing and the implied consent suspension becomes permanent. 

Once you have requested an administrative hearing to challenge the implied consent suspension, you can get what is called a TAL, or temporary alcohol license (note that this used to be called a TARL – temporary alcohol restricted license, but they changed the name). There is a $100 fee to get the TAL.

The TAL will allow you to drive, with no restrictions other than you cannot drive after drinking alcohol, until your administrative hearing date. 

If you win the administrative hearing (or if the officer does not appear at your hearing), your suspension is lifted, and you can trade the TAL in for your regular drivers’ license. 

If you lose the administrative hearing, you will need to return the TAL, enroll in ADSAP, and you may be eligible for a route-restricted license (see below).

Provisional Driver’s License

If you are convicted of DUI or DUAC, your license will be suspended, but you may qualify for a six-month provisional license if it is your first offense

The requirements to be eligible for a provisional license in SC include:

  • You must have a valid SC driver’s license (apart from your DUI suspension),
  • You must be current on all reinstatement fees for any prior suspensions, revocations, or cancellations of your license,
  • The BAC result from your DUI case must have been .14% or less,
  • You have not had any other license suspensions after the current DUI suspension (unless they were related to the same case),
  • You must be enrolled in ADSAP, and
  • There is a $100 provisional license fee. 

After a DUI conviction, you will also need to get SR-22 insurance before you can receive any type of license, and you will need to maintain the SR-22 insurance continuously for a three-year period (no lapses or the time period is increased). 

Route Restricted License

What if you lose your implied consent hearing and have to return your TAL? Or what if you are charged with DUI 2nd or 3rd offense? 

You may be eligible for a route restricted license that will allow you to drive but only:

  • To work or school,
  • During work or school,
  • To and from ADSAP, or
  • To and from a court-ordered drug treatment program. 

You cannot drive a commercial vehicle with a route restricted license, you can only receive one route restricted license in your lifetime, and the route restricted license will be valid until your suspension is lifted. 

The route restricted license is available only for certain types of suspensions, including:

  • An accident judgment,
  • Alcohol violation (DUI 2nd offense, for example),
  • Implied consent violation for refusal or BAC of .15% or greater,
  • Failure to stop for a blue light,
  • False insurance certifications,
  • Misrepresentation of identity, or
  • Suspensions for accumulation of 12 or more points. 

A route restricted license costs $100, and you can apply for one by mailing this form to the SCDMV at:

Driver Records
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0028

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirements

Even if you are eligible for a provisional license, a route restricted license, or a TAL, you may also need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car before you can drive, depending on whether it is your first or subsequent DUI offense and your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. 

Questions About Provisional Licenses in SC? 

If your license has been suspended due to an implied consent violation or if you are charged with DUI in SC, get an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your case immediately – there are deadlines for requesting your administrative hearing. 

Your attorney can help you to prepare your defense, mitigate the consequences of a DUI charge, get you set up with a provisional license if needed, and may be able to get your DUI charges dismissed. 

Give us a call at (843) 501-0602 or contact us through our website to set up a free initial consultation and find out how we can help.

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