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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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