DUI Breath Test Zero
In South Carolina, do police drop your DUI case if your breath test result is 0.00? Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, South Carolina and today we’re going to talk about what happens in your DUI case when your breath test results in a zero reading.
Does Your Case Get Dismissed?
If you thought that your case gets dropped and that you don’t go to jail that night when you breath test result comes back as zero, unfortunately that’s not the case and the reason for that is police have other tools at their disposal to test to see whether you’re under the influence of something else other than alcohol, such as drugs. Police can now request a urine sample or a blood sample be taken from you. You don’t have to provide a sample, but just like a breath test request, these triggers the implied consent laws in the state of South Carolina and your license will be automatically suspended for six months if you’re refused to provide a urine or blood sample.
Urine Test for Drugs
So what happens in your case if you do provide a urine or blood sample. The next step that happens is that police will transport you to a local hospital where that sample will be taken by a medical professional. Once they’ve collected that sample, it’ll be turned back over to police and then they will send it off to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, otherwise known as SLED, to be analyzed. You won’t get those test results back until several months after your date of arrest and so that means that you will go to jail that night and you will have to bond out to be released from custody. When you get those test results back, what defenses can your attorney assert for you? There are several of them. First and foremost is because it triggers the implied consent laws, police have to give you those warnings a second time. If police don’t do that, that can make those results inadmissible against you. Secondly, the collection must be done by medical personnel. Police cannot do that themselves and this sounds kind of strange, but I have had a case before where a police officer took the urine sample and collected it and didn’t use medical personnel. When it came in front of a judge, the court ruled that that sample was inadmissible for not using medical personnel and following the proper procedures and then the case was thrown out because my client’s breath alcohol rating was 0.00 and the only evidence in the case that was admissible against him was that he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol.
Chain of Custody
Lastly, when we’re talking about evidence preservation in a criminal case, the police have to do or have to establish what’s called a chain of custody for everyone that came in with that evidence. That means they have to document who the medical personnel were, there has to be signatures for that and then when the officer, or several offices come in contact with that, they all have to be part of that chain of custody and police have to document that. If they don’t document that properly, that could lead to your sample being inadmissible against you. Again, if you provide a breath sample that’s 0.00, then most likely your case is going to be thrown out.
Charleston, SC DUI Attorney
If you have a case involving either urine or blood test and would like to talk to me about how you can go about getting a defense in your case, please give me a call at (843) 530-7812. I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.