Clemson, SC- When a police officer pulls and motorist over and suspects they are drunk, they need more than their observations to charge that driver with a DUI. An officer can get the proof they need by asking a driver to submit to a breathalyzer which measures a motorist’s blood alcohol content. But many motorists refuse these tests, so we’ll discuss if refusing a breath test is a wise move to make.
Most South Carolinians understand that they can refuse a breathalyzer or a urine or chemical test, but many of them don’t realize that their refusal won’t keep them from being charged with a DUI. What’s more, they could face twice charges, one for driving under the influence and one for refusing a breath test.
South Carolina, like most U.S. states, has an implied consent law, which means when any motorist gets their driver’s license, they agree to submit to sobriety tests. Such laws exist because too many drivers refuse sobriety test so they could circumvent a DUI charge.
If a South Carolina officer asks you to take a sobriety test and you refuse, that officer can seize your driver’s license immediately and it will be suspended for at least 6 months. If you refuse a breath test a second time you could lose your license for at least 9 months.
There is this common misconception that refusing a breathalyzer or other sobriety tests denies the prosecution the evidence they need to ensure you are convicted. That isn’t necessarily true and there are many instances in which people are convicted of a DUI based on the officer’s observations alone.
This is not always the case since some courts will convict a person based on an officer’s observations alone. Any actions you take or statements you make prior to or after an officer stops you will be recorded in their report and used by the prosecution. It should be noted, though, that is much easier for a DUI defense attorney to challenge an officer’s observations than the results of a breathalyzer.
Some DUI defense attorneys will tell you to go ahead and submit to sobriety tests, some will encourage you not to submit. Only you can decide if a refusal is a better idea. If you have been charged with refusal or a DUI, USAttorneys recommends you retain and DUI lawyer immediately and let them start working in your defense.
Refusing to submit to sobriety tests in South Carolina can work to your benefit or it can be damaging. If you’ve been charged with refusal or DUI or both, you need to speak with a DUI lawyer in South Carolina immediately to help you with your defense. It is possible to minimize the impact of your charges and help you avoid conviction if at all possible. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need a DUI defense lawyer, contact one today and set up a consultation so you can make an informed decision about how to handle your case.