If you decide to drink and drive, don’t be surprised to see those familiar red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror. The cops are trained to detect the signs of impaired driving. If they suspect you’ve been drinking and driving, they do have a right to pull you over. Your Greenville DUI defense lawyer can attest to this.
Once the officers in Greenville stop your vehicle, they have the right to ask you certain questions. Despite what you may see on reality television shows, you are required to produce your license, registration, and insurance. If you refuse to do this, you’re asking for trouble.
The police may also ask you if you’ve been drinking or using drugs. How much you tell them is up to you. Just know that the police know that the standard response to this question is that you’ve had two (2) beers. When they hear this, they aren’t going to believe you. Plus, they’re eventually going to do the necessary tests to measure your blood alcohol concentration. Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all.
When it comes to refusing to provide information, it’s important to mention the field sobriety test. While there is a penalty for refusing to take a breathalyzer test, there’s no penalty for refusing the field sobriety test. If this happens to you and you’re concerned about the pending charges, call and talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Greenville.
What is the Standard Field Sobriety Test in South Carolina?
The police can certainly ask you to take a field sobriety test. However, there are only certain types of tests that are considered acceptable. There are three (3) basic tests that are part of the standard field sobriety test (FST). These include:
- One-legged stand
- Walk and turn
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus
If the cops ask you to do anything other than these three tests, you may want to decline. For example, it isn’t standard practice to ask a driver to say the alphabet backward. Nor is it standard for them to ask you to hop up and down on one leg. These tests do not accurately measure someone’s level of impairment. They also increase the odds of your performing poorly on the FST.
Can Your Greenville DUI Defense Lawyer Help if You Refuse the FST?
When you get your driver’s license in South Carolina, you implicitly agree to take a breathalyzer test. This is referred to as the implied consent law. Everybody who accepts their driver’s license is required to submit to a breath or chemical test to measure alcohol. For example, if the cops ask you to take a breathalyzer, you can refuse. But if you do, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for six (6) months. And, if you do refuse, the cops will simply get a warrant to have you submit to a chemical or blood test.
When it comes to the FST, there is no implied consent law. If you refuse to perform this test, your license will not be suspended. However, you need to keep in mind that the cops will ask you to take a breathalyzer test if you refuse the FST. If you refuse this second test, your license will be suspended. Either way, you’ll end up with a suspended driver’s license. There’s nothing your Greenville DUI defense lawyer can do to change this.
What if the Field Sobriety Test is Not Administered Properly?
Even if you do the field sobriety test, you’ll probably still be arrested for DUI. The cops aren’t going to ask random drivers to take part in an FST. If they ask you to undergo this test, it’s because they believe you’re under the influence. However, some police officers in South Carolina do not administer the test properly.
All police officers in Greenville are required to wear body cams. This means that your FST will be recorded. Your DUI defense lawyer in Greenville is going to review this tape. If they believe the cops didn’t administer the test properly, they’ll ask that it be excluded at trial.
Call and Talk to a DUI Defense Lawyer in Greenville Right Away
If you’re charged with DUI in South Carolina, you’ll be facing pretty serious penalties. This is why it’s important that you contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer in Greenville as soon as possible after your arrest. Your first hearing is going to take place within a few days of your arrest and you don’t want to be alone for this.