When it comes to DUI offenders in South Carolina, the majority are first time offenders. Therefore, it’s likely that most of you are unfamiliar with the proceedings that come along with a DUI. From the roadside testing, getting a lawyer, your bail hearing, and getting your license back… There are a lot of different steps to take, and a lot of questions to ask. One common question that arises is about DUI-related probation. How does it work? What are the court’s expectations of me? And on top of that, what happens if I violate probation?

DUI-related Probation: What does this mean for me?

First of all what does “probation” mean?

Think of probation in the same way that you think of academic probation at a school. You violated the schools policy; therefore you must perform some actions in order to get back in “good standing”. For a crime, the state basically wants to monitor you to make sure that your character and behavior was more of a slip-up rather than a habit. So, most of the actions you’ll perform on DUI-related probation are meant to prevent you from drunk driving.

The specifics for a DUI-related probationary period:

The following are all examples of what you’ll specifically for a DUI:

  1. The DMV suspends your driver’s license. Depending on the situation, you may be able to appeal this decision within a set amount of time.
  2. Devices on your person or in your car to monitor your drinking.
  3. Random testing.
  4. Fines
  5. Classes on substance abuse. Sometimes, these classes are assigned if you fail an appeal.

Now, it’s important to note that these are not punishments for your crime. Rather, these activities happen after conviction and punishment. Therefore, if the judge sentences you to community service, you must fully participate in that community service.

If you break your probation, you will have to answer to an administrative officer, or to the court. In court, you’ll be sent to General Sessions for a hearing. However, if you miss that hearing, the court issues a bench warrant without an expiration date. Therefore, you must stay on top of your probation and complete the assigned program fully. Only then, will your probationary period be over.