When you get a driver’s license, you are giving your consent to undergo a breathalyzer or blood testing if an officer suspects you are driving under the influence. If you refuse to submit to testing, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will immediately suspend your driver’s license.
However, there are also strict laws under the rule that officers must adhere to during the arrest. Any driver who faces a conviction should contact a DUI attorney skilled in the role of implied consent in Charleston DUI cases.
Implied Consent Hearing
An implied consent hearing occurs in a small courtroom or conference room. Officers, attorneys, and a hearing judge gather to discuss the details of the arrest, such as probable cause for pulling the driver over. The attorney for the defendant could cross-examine arresting officers and present evidence on the accused person’s behalf.
If the driver facing conviction does not request a hearing or loses the case, their license will remain suspended. For these reasons, it is essential to contact a Charleston attorney knowledgeable about the importance of implied consent in DUI cases after an arrest.
License Suspension for DUI Versus Refusing a Breathalyzer
License suspension in Charleston varies depending on whether the driver has previous DUI arrests, has a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of over 0.15 percent, or refuses the breathalyzer. The law bases the number of prior convictions within a 10-year time frame.
Zero to One Prior Convictions
License suspension for a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher is one month and six months for a breathalyzer refusal. License suspension with one prior conviction for a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher is two months and nine months for a breathalyzer refusal.
Two or Three Prior Convictions
License suspension for a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher is two months (or three months with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on the person’s vehicle) and 9 months for a breathalyzer refusal if this is someone’s second conviction in Charleston. For a third conviction, license suspension for a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher is three months and 12 months for a breathalyzer refusal.
Implied Consent to Testing in Charleston
During a driving under the influence arrest, there are specific protocols the arresting officer must follow. Per South Carolina Code of Laws Section §56-5-2950, a police officer cannot administer DUAC testing or take samples until they activate video recording and advise the driver, either verbally or in writing, that:
- The motorist does not have to submit to test, but the state will suspend their driver’s license for a six-month minimum if they refuse
- The state will suspend the motorist’s license for a minimum of one month if, during blood alcohol testing, their BAC is .015 percent or higher
- The motorist may seek separate independent testing
- The motorist may request an implied consent hearing
- If the judge upholds the arrest during the hearing, the motorist must enroll in a Drug and Alcohol Safety Action Program
A lawyer experienced with Charleston DUI cases and the role of implied consent could answer questions on state legislation and penalties.
Call an Attorney about the Role of Implied Consent in Charleston DUI Cases
The process following a DUI arrest is extraordinarily complex, and there are many variables. A skilled legal professional could guide you through this process. They could also help you review the details of your arrest to ensure the arresting officer followed the state code.
Because officers must follow the strict guidelines, a skilled attorney could help you fight the charges if there was an issue. If you face a conviction, contact a lawyer experienced with the role of implied consent in Charleston DUI cases right away.