Drunk driving is illegal in South Carolina and is a criminal offense. Over the years, the number of drunk drivers on the road has increased considerably, and that is why South Carolina has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. It is important for all drivers on the roads in Clemson, South Carolina to be aware that DUI penalties in Clemson are not trivial. If arrested for DUI, you need to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Determining DUI – Procedure, and Tests
Any driver on the roads in Clemson, SC can be pulled over by a law enforcement officer if they suspect that you are drunk. Don’t underestimate this procedure. Even when they are examining your registration and your license, they have strategies they use to figure out if the driver is drunk or sober. A police officer is not going to miss your alcoholic breath. Even if they have the slightest doubt that you might be drunk, they can confirm it with the different field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer test.
Refusing the Tests
If you are wondering whether you can refuse to take these tests, remember that if you do, you can go to jail. If you are a resident of Clemson, SC, you should be aware of the implied consent law. As per this law, driving in South Carolina is a privilege and not a right. Whenever a driver obtains a license, they are, in essence, giving permission to police officials to conduct certain any road tests deemed necessary, including the breathalyzer. In fact, informed consent also means that you give your consent to chemical testing as well such as a urine or blood test. Therefore, if you get behind the wheel while drunk and if you get caught, you must let the officers conduct any tests. Implied consent applies to field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer.
Any DUI attorney will tell you that it is not a good idea to refuse a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test. The officer will record your verbal statement if you refuse. They may even take a written statement from you that you are refusing the tests. Immediately after that, you will be arrested, and your license will be suspended for six months. More importantly, when you go to court, this refusal will be used against you. In most cases, a refusal to consent to the breathalyzer means you were trying to hide something, and thus, you are presumed guilty. Talk to your DUI lawyer about this and understand the consequences of refusing the tests.
Your license is on suspension for six months after your first refusal; nine months after your second refusal; and 12 months after your third refusal. The only way you can get your license back is to enroll in the ignition interlock device program. The price for this could range from $75-$125 a month.
You could also challenge the suspension which will result in an administrative hearing fee of approximately $200. This hearing has to be requested within 30 days from your license suspension date. When your request is processed, you can then apply for a temporary alcohol license. If you win the case, your license will be reinstated. If you lose, the suspension of your license will remain.
Whatever route you take, it is best to discuss these options with a DUI lawyer. Your DUI attorney will help you guide through the court process.
Contact a DUI Attorney at The Bateman Firm
Refusing sobriety and breath analyzer tests is never a good idea. But if you have done so, you need to contact a DUI lawyer immediately. The Bateman Firm has a team of DUI attorneys who have handled numerous DUI cases in Clemson, SC. Our Clemson DUI lawyer will help you outline a strategy that will result in the most positive outcome for you. Good legal support is imperative in such cases. We recommend that you call our DUI lawyers in Clemson, SC today!