You’ve been charged with DUI in SC.
Your SC driver’s license has been suspended.
Now you’re wondering how you’ll get to and from work, visit family and friends or do anything else that requires the use of a motor vehicle.
Fortunately, you may request an administrative hearing challenging the suspension.
If you were under arrest for DUI and chose to refuse to provide a breath sample, and your license was suspended, you may request an administrative hearing challenging the suspension. In the alternative, if you do provide a breath sample, and the reading is .15% or greater, your license will be suspended for 30 days. Both of these suspensions require enrollment in the ADSAP program if the suspension is upheld.
Requesting a hearing can have several positive outcomes including making you eligible for a Temporary Alcohol Restricted License, or TARL. Requesting a hearing is going to cost you, but this benefit alone is worth it for many people.
Keep reading to find out more about how to request a hearing, how much it will cost you, and what you can expect to happen.
10 Questions and Answers About DUI Administrative Hearings
1. Where can I get the instructions on how to request an Administrative Hearing?
The back of the suspension form issued by the arresting officer contains the information that must be filled in to submit the request. Instructions for requesting a hearing are contained on the back of this form, too.
You can hire an attorney to submit the request for you, or you can submit this request yourself.
2. How long do I have to request the hearing? Is there a time limit?
There is a time limit. You have 30 days to request an administrative hearing following your arrest for DUI.
3. How do I pay the fee to submit the request?
The Office of Administrative Hearings does not accept personal checks for the $200.00 fee required. A cashier’s check or money order must be used.
4. Why should I request a hearing?
Because you can then go to the DMV and request a Temporary Alcohol Restricted License or TARL if you are deemed to be eligible.
When the Office of Administrative Hearings in Columbia receives the request form and the form of payment, they begin the process of determining a hearing date. The DMV is also notified of the request, so that the DMV computer database reflects that the person can appear at any DMV office and obtain a TARL.
The other benefit to requesting a hearing is that the allegation that the arrested person “refused” to provide a breath sample can be challenged by the person’s lawyer.
5. What is a Temporary Alcohol Restricted License (TARL)?
A TARL gives you the ability to drive throughout the state of South Carolina as you wish until the date of your Administrative Hearing. It isn’t restricted by where you specifically are driving or what time you are driving unless those things are restricted by your bond conditions.
You will know if you are eligible for a TARL when you receive a letter in the mail after requesting a hearing. This letter usually comes within 5-10 days.
6. Do I have to pay anything to get a TARL?
Yes, you do. Getting a TARL will cost you an additional fee of $100.00. While this may seem steep, it can mean the difference between being about to drive yourself to work or not.
7. What happens to my suspension if I request a hearing?
The period of suspension that was imposed at the time of the refusal, say six months or 30 days, is kept on hold until the administrative hearing. A person holding a TARL may drive anywhere in the state during that period of time.
8. What happens at the Administrative Hearing?
If you have an attorney, your attorney will go to the hearing, and you do not have to be present.
When the police officer appears at the administrative hearing, he must testify before the hearing officer, under oath, and prove several elements to support his case that you refused to blow.
If he can make his case, the hearing officer will uphold the suspension and what is left of your suspension will be upheld. The TARL will no longer be valid.
If the police officer fails to prove his case to the hearing officer, your license will no longer be suspended and you can get your regular driver’s license back.
9. What can I do if I lose the Administrative Hearing?
You have a right to appeal to the South Carolina Administrative Law Court. If you choose not to appeal, you may apply for a RRL or Route Restricted License to drive to and from work.
10. When should I hire an attorney to represent me at the Administrative Hearing?
As soon as possible! Remember – you only have 30 days to request this hearing. If you would like your attorney to request it for you, you need to give your attorney as much time as possible.
Let us help you.
If you are facing DUI charges in SC and don’t know what to do next, give us a call! We can discuss your options together. If your license has been suspended we can talk about the benefits of requesting an Administrative Hearing.