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Is There an Implied Consent Law in SC?

On Behalf of | | DUI

When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle in the State of South Carolina, you take on the immense responsibility that goes along with this privilege, and there is an implied consent law that applies. DUI charges come with serious legal and social consequences that can disrupt your future and should not be ignored. If you are facing such a charge, it’s time to consult with an experienced South Carolina DUI defense attorney.

DUI Charges

In South Carolina, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can be levied when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .08 percent. If your BAC is between .5 and .8 percent, however, you can still face a DUI charge if the arresting officers believe that there is enough additional evidence to infer that you are under the influence. Generally, a driver’s BAC is measured by a breathalyzer during the initial stop.

South Carolina’s implied consent law states that a person who drives a motor vehicle in South Carolina is considered to have given consent to chemical tests of the person’s breath, blood, or urine to determine the presence of alcohol . . . if arrested for a related offense. The officer’s first course of action is generally offering a breath test upon stopping the driver. This means every time you drive, you imply your consent to taking a breathalyzer test.

However, important rules apply, including:

  • The breath sample must be collected within two hours of arrest.
  • The breath test must be administered by someone with the requisite training and certification.
  • Prior to administering the test, a specific simulator test must be performed to test the machine for accuracy.

The Police Must Provide You with Specific Information

If you are stopped and requested to take a breathalyzer test, the police are required to provide you with written and verbal information after activating their video recording equipment, including:

  • Letting you know that, while you do not have to take a chemical test, refusing to do so will lead to an automatic driver’s license suspension
  • Letting you know that refusing the breathalyzer test can be used against you in your DUI case
  • Letting you know that blowing a BAC of .15 percent or higher will lead to an immediate license suspension of at least a month

This list goes on, and if the officer who pulls you over fails to comply with each detailed requirement, it can strengthen your defense considerably.

An Experienced South Carolina DUI Defense Attorney Can Help

The formidable DUI defense attorneys at Query Sautter & Associates have the legal savvy and drive to help you resolve your DUI case as favorably as possible – whether you refused a breathalyzer or not. Your legal rights are too important to ignore, and we encourage you to reach out and contact us online or call 843-795-9500 for more information about what we can do to help you today.