If you’ve been out drinking, the last thing you want to see are the red and blue lights flashing behind you. There’s no escaping the fact that the cops are going to find out that you have alcohol on your breath. It doesn’t matter how many mints you eat. It doesn’t matter if you spray air freshener. They are trained to pick up on the signs that someone’s under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
One way to avoid this is to not drink and drive. Call an Uber or decide to drink soda instead of beer. But once you’re decided to get behind the wheel, there’s only so much you can do. The cops may notice that you’re swerving. Or they may have seen you pull out of the parking lot of a bar. Once they’ve locked in on you, they’re going to pull you over. When this happens, it’s important that you know what they can and cannot do. It’s also important that you understand what your rights are in South Carolina. Your Greenville DUI defense lawyer is going to review your case and see if they can poke holes in the State’s case. They’re also going to negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
What Can the Police Force You to Do During a DUI Stop In South Carolina?
When it comes to a traffic stop, there are things the police can make you do. For starters, they can require you to pull over. If you don’t, a chase may ensue, and you can be arrested for eluding the police. Once you’re pulled over, you are required to produce your identification – this includes you license, registration and insurance. If you refuse to provide these things, you can be charged with a crime.
For a DUI stop, the cops are going to ask you to do additional things. They will ask you to take a breathalyzer test. You don’t have to agree to this. They may also ask you to do a field sobriety test. Again, you can refuse to take this test. Just keep in mind that there are consequences to doing this. But there are also benefits.
What Happens if You Refuse to Take the Breathalyzer Test?
You have every right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test. Just remember, if you do, there will be consequences. First, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a period of six (6) months. If it’s your second refusal, the suspension will be nine (9) months. And, if it’s your third offense, you’ll have to deal with a one-year suspension.
In South Carolina, you can also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You’ll have to bear the costs for this as well. In addition, you may be ordered to attend classes at the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.
The biggest problem with refusing to take a breathalyzer test is that it can be used against you in court. The prosecutor will point out that you chose not to take the test. They’ll use this to show your guilt. After all, why would you refuse to take the test if you weren’t under the influence? Your Greenville DUI defense lawyer will do their best to make sure this doesn’t happen.
What are the Benefits to Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?
Clearly, there is a risk to refusing to take a breathalyzer test. But there are also potential benefits. First, if you are drunk, the test is going to show it. By refusing to take the test, you make sure the police can’t hand the State proof of your intoxication. Also, if you don’t take the breathalyzer, the State won’t be able to prove that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than the limit for an enhanced penalty.
The other thing about refusing the test is that it gives time for the alcohol to wear off. Even if you refuse a breathalyzer at your traffic stop, the cops can still get a warrant to take another test. This could include a blood or urine test. However, by the time this happens, there’s a good chance your BAC will go down.
Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina
If you’ve been arrested for DUI and refused the breathalyzer test, call our office right away. You’re going to need an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this on your own.