What to Expect If You Refuse to Take a DUI Breath Test in South Carolina

When it comes to DUI, South Carolina has an “implied consent” law that basically states the following: if a law enforcement officer arrests you because they have reason to believe that you are driving while intoxicated, you automatically consent to a blood or breath test to check your blood alcohol content (BAC) and a urine analysis to test for drugs. If you refuse these tests, penalties apply.
In most circumstances the officer will ask you to take a breath test. (Blood tests are normally ordered if you can’t complete a breath test due to being injured or unconscious.) If the officer suspects you of having taken drugs, they can also order a urine test.
After you have been arrested, you can only be tested after the officer has done the following:

  • Set up a video camera to record the test
  • Advised you of your rights
  • Advised you of the penalties for refusal
  • Provided you with written details about these penalties and rights

If you consent to being tested, South Carolina law allows you to have further tests conducted by a medical professional of your choosing.
If you refuse to be tested, the officer will immediately suspend your license. Refusal is no guarantee that you won’t be convicted: the prosecution can use your failure to cooperate as proof that you knew you were intoxicated when arrested.
Administrative Penalties
If you are convicted as a first-time offender, your license will be suspended for six months. A second offense will cause you to lose your license for one year, and a third offense will prohibit you from driving for two years.
Criminal Penalties
First offenses are usually punished by a $997  fine and/or incarceration for two days to one month. The judge may opt to make you do community service instead, but there are no guarantees. Second-time offenders can be fined anywhere between $2,100 and $5,100 and spend up to a year in jail. A third offense is punishable by a $3,800 to $6,300 fine and 60 days to 3 years in jail.
If you have been arrested for DUI in South Carolina, contact our firm immediately at (843) 626-5480. Quick, decisive legal action can make all the difference in achieving the best possible outcome to your case.

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Complete Legal Defense Team

We defend clients who have been accused of felonies, misdemeanors, and DUI. Our goal at the Complete Legal Defense Team is to examine the facts and circumstances completely and help our clients.

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