South Carolina has a law called an Implied Consent Law that means when a driver acquires a driver’s license, they automatically agree to take a blood, urine, or breath test if they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Just like other states, South Carolina has laws about driving with a blood alcohol content over a certain level. For South Carolina, that level is at or above 0.08. Drivers that are caught driving with a BAC above that limit may be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI.
If a driver in South Carolina is suspected of driving while intoxicated, the law enforcement officer that stops the driver may request the driver to take a breath, blood, or urine test to find out if the driver is actually intoxicated.
The Testing Process
If a law enforcement officer suspects the BAC exceeds the legal limit of 0.08, they must first offer the driver a breath test to attempt to determine their blood alcohol level. However, there are certain situations in which a blood sample can be taken instead. These situations include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- The driver has an injured mouth
- The driver is unconscious or deceased
- The driver is unable to take a breath test for other reasons that are deemed acceptable by medical personnel.
A law enforcement officer may also request a urine test if they suspect that the driver of the vehicle may be under the influence of a substance other than alcohol or is under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol. In addition, when a law enforcement officer does administer a breath test, it must be done within two hours of the arrest and other tests must be done within three hours of the arrest.
Refusing an SC DUI Test
Even with South Carolina’s implied consent laws, if you are arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you do not have to take a test that is requested by a law enforcement official. However, state laws say that if you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, your driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum of six months. In addition, this refusal may be used against you as proof of your guilt in court.
If you do choose to refuse a blood, breath, or urine test, you will have the right to request an administrative hearing within 30 days of receiving notice that your license has been suspended. However, if you opt out of a hearing, or your license suspension is upheld in the hearing, you will be required to attend an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney Today
Getting convicted of a DUI in South Carolina can have long-lasting effects. If you are charged with a DUI and have refused a blood, breath, or urine test, you may be even more concerned about how such an offense will affect your future. An experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options. The attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices have years of experience helping our clients with DUI charges and we can help you too. Contact one of our South Carolina offices today to schedule a consultation.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.