What You Need to Know About SC’s New DUI Laws in 2024

A change in South Carolina’s DUI law goes into effect on May 19, 2024. The bill was called S.36, and it changes many of the licensing requirements in DUI and DUAC cases. People charged with DUI or DUAC on or after that date, along with DUI lawyers around the state, need to know how this law affects drivers in South Carolina charged with DUI. Futeral & Nelson’s DUI lawyers summarize the effects of this new law in this article.

Does the Law Affect Old DUI Cases in South Carolina?

No, the law only affects cases where the arrest occurred on or after May 19, 2024. If the arrest occurred before this date, the old law applies.

How Can I Drive if I Refuse to Blow and Get Suspended in South Carolina?

Under the old law, drivers could obtain a Temporary Alcohol License (TAL) while they wait for their hearing to challenge the suspension. This license gave them the ability to drive without limitation in South Carolina until their suspension is decided by an Administrative Hearing Officer.

People may still obtain a TAL under the new law, but they also have the option of putting an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their car. The only benefit to this is if they lose the hearing, they will have credit towards the suspension for the time they drove with the IID in their car. In our opinion, the downside exceeds this credit, and in most cases we will recommend just getting a standard TAL.

The reasons for this advice are two-fold: First, the IID costs a couple hundred dollars a month. Second, the IID subjects you to monitoring by the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (DPPPS) and their IID program. It is possible you could violate the IID program, even innocently, and face penalties. If you win your hearing, you have spent this money and subjected yourself to these penalties for nothing.

This section also applies to situations where you blow a 0.15 or higher and receive the shorter suspension. The only difference is that you requested a hearing to challenge the suspension, you have to have the IID for 3 months, even if your suspension is for less. If you did not request the hearing, while you still have to do ADSAP, your suspension is only for the required time (30 days for a >0.15 first offense).

What Happens If I Lose the Implied Consent Hearing in South Carolina?

Under the old law, drivers had the option of (1) serving their suspension and not driving, (2) obtaining a route restricted license, or (3) entering the Ignition Interlock Program.

Under the new law, you are required to get the IID for your remaining suspension period or more, and you must still take the ADSAP class.

You will receive credit for suspension time already served or time you had the IID in your car.

What Happens If I Win the Implied Consent Hearing in South Carolina?

You can reinstate your license, and you will get the $200 filing fee back. If the DUI has not been resolved, you are still facing that, however.

What Happens If I Am Convicted of DUI or DUAC Under South Carolina’s New Law?

As before, you will still:

  • receive your suspension (6 months if first offense)
  • receive your sentence of jail or fine
  • have to do the ADSAP class
  • be required to obtain SR-22 insurance

The difference with the new law is that you can no longer obtain a provisional or route restricted law during the suspension. You must enter the Ignition Interlock Program during your suspension time.

It is important to know that you must have the IID for the required period. So, if you are conviction of DUI 1st and get suspended for 6 months, but you wait 3 months to get the IID, you will not get credit for the first 3 months, and still have to go another 6 months with the IID.

Do I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) if I Blow a 0.00 in South Carolina?

If you blow a 0.00 but refuse a requested urine test, you could be suspended. Under certain scenarios, you may be able to avoid the IID and simply serve the suspension if you choose.

Does the New DUI Law in SC Affect Out of State Drivers?

Yes, drivers with licenses from other states who are convicted of DUI or DUAC 2nd offense, 3rd offense, or 4th Offense, or Felony DUI in South Carolina will be required to complete the IID program to clear their suspension in South Carolina.

What Else Does South Carolina’s New DUI Law Affect?

  • Minors with Zero Tolerance violations under S.C. Code Section 56-1-286 now have the option of getting an IID if they don’t want to serve the suspension by not driving at all.
  • Habitual Offenders with at least one alcohol involved violation may enroll in the IID program instead of serving the 5 year suspension (reckless driving does not count).
  • People who are “forever barred” from driving in South Carolina may qualify for an IID instead of having zero ability to drive.

Wrapping It All Up – South Carolina’s DUI Laws in 2024

The new law S.36 does not really affect the way we defend and attack DUI cases. Its effect on DUI cases only involves the driver’s license and suspensions from implied consent violations and DUI or DUAC convictions. We have studied these law changes so that we can correctly advise clients of the consequences and guide them back to driving legally as quickly as possible.

If you are charged with DUI in South Carolina or currently suspended by the SCDMV, schedule a consultation with a lawyer at Futeral & Nelson.