Administrative Hearings

In some DUI/DUAC cases there are two parts, court and administrative. The administrative portion is heard in a different court and is only concerned with the breathalyzer suspension. If you refused or registered over .15 on the breathalyzer the officer likely took your license and issued a notice of suspension in the breathalyzer room.

You have thirty (30) days to request the administrative hearing. The (blue) form you were giver tells you on the back in the first paragraph that if you complete the form and submit the form to DMV you, in most cases, will be eligible for a temporary alcohol restricted license (TARL). That license is good twenty four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week in South Carolina. The form asks that you provide information about your attorney but you do not have to have an attorney to submit the form and you should not wait as that will only delay getting back on the road.

The hearing will likely be set in the next sixty (60) to one hundred twenty (120) days. If it takes more than six (6) months to schedule the hearing the temporary license can be extended.

The issues in the hearing are very limited and the rules of evidence that apply are different from those used in criminal court. You may not even need to be present. You should discuss that with your attorney as, even if you are not required to appear, there may be valid reasons you should be present. The hearing officer is to determine if there was probable cause for the arrest and if the breathalyzer was administered in accordance with SLED regulations. The arresting officer and breathalyzer operator must be present and will testify. Your attorney has the opportunity to ask questions and make argument to the judge why the suspension should be overturned (rescinded). If the officers are not present you will win the hearing as there is no evidence upon which the judge can uphold the suspension.

If the judge upholds the suspension you may be eligible for a route restricted license but no driving privilege will be available to you until you enroll in (and successfully complete) ADSAP. If you win the hearing and the suspension is rescinded you will be eligible to get your regular license back.

Please remember what was said at the start of this – there are two parts to a DUI/DUAC and if you win the hearing it does not mean the ability of the State to proceed on the ticket is affected in any way. By the same token if you lose it does not mean you are guilty in criminal court of anything.