A situation that we commonly encounter at the Steve Sumner Law Firm is an out of state driver, or a person holding a valid drivers license from another state, that is charged with DUI in South Carolina.
Here are the basics:
A driver licensed in another state has the same rights as a South Carolina licensed driver in a DUI traffic stop and/or arrest situation (the right to remain silent, the right to refuse field sobriety test and the right to refuse a breath test).
If an out of state driver refuses the breath test in South Carolina or takes the breath test and registers .15 or higher here is some important information:
- Your valid out of state license is not supposed to be taken or seized by the arresting officer; however
- This person is suspended from driving legally in South Carolina;
- The South Carolina – DMV, upon receiving this information, will create a customer number and identity packet for the person and suspend them from legally driving in South Carolina for the applicable time period;
- A person in this situation does have the right to request and have an administrative hearing (we strongly encourage that this step be taken); and
- Be prepared and expect for the home licensing state to receive the suspension information from the South Carolina-DMV and take action accordingly (for example, a driver licensed through Maryland can expect to potentially receive a letter from the Maryland-DMV at their home Maryland address, as shown on their Maryland license regarding any actions against them that will be taken by the Maryland-DMV based on the information from the South Carolina –DMV).
At the Steve Sumner Law Firm we have represented numerous client over the years who were licensed in other states when they received their DUI in South Carolina; and we are familiar with this highly complex process.