So you’ve been arrested for DUI and are in the breathalyzer room being asked to provide a breathe sample to the officer. No pressure right. What’s important to know is that you don’t have to take the test. The police officer is required to tell you that you do not have to take the test but if you refuse, your license must be suspended for six months. Not only that, the fact that you refused to provide a sample will be used against you in court.
Consequences of a refusal
First the down side. Your license will be suspended immediately. The reason for this is that there is a contract between you and the state of South Carolina when you obtain a drivers license that you gave implied consent to provide a breath sample when asked by a police officer that suspects you of driving under the influence.
What can a lawyer do?
Once your license has been suspended you will be given a notice of suspension. You are entitled to a hearing to challenge the license suspension but you must request that hearing within 30 days of the date of arrest or you lose that right forever. Typically, once you have requested that administrative hearing you can apply for a Temporary Alcohol License (TAL) that will cost you $200. This means that you will be able to drive lawfully in much less time than the six-month suspension.
Why request an Administrative Hearing?
There a re a number of benefits to requesting an admin hearing. First, is that you will receive paperwork from the DMV that will allow you to obtain a TAL so you can drive lawfully and not have to wait out the six-month suspension. Second, is that if you win the admin hearing your full driving privileges will be restored until the case is resolved. Third, is that your lawyer will have a chance to cross-examine the officer under oath before the case goes to trial and potentially gain some valuable facts that will help in the defense of your case.
Consequences of providing a breath sample
If you provide a breath sample and it registers 0.15% or higher your license will be suspended for one-month. If you blow a 0.05% or higher the state may have evidence that will give rise to an inference that you were materially impaired to be driving. If you blow a 0.00% you will not be un-arrested because the police will assume that you are under the influence of another substance such as narcotics whether legal or illegal that you were impaired to drive.
Charleston, SC DUI Attorney
The Dale Savage Law Firm handles DUI charges all over the State of South Carolina, call today if need a Charleston DUI attorney and want a free consultation. (843) 530-7813.