The Officer took my license Now What?
Do you have to take a breathalyzer if a cop asks you to?
No. In most cases, you shouldn’t. The machine is not as accurate as they would like you to believe – and – why give them evidence to use against you later?
But, there are consequences when you either refuse or when you take the test and the result is .15 or higher.
Under South Carolina’s “implied consent” law, when you get a SC driver’s license you “impliedly agree” to submit to screenings for alcohol and other drugs if a law enforcement officer pulls you over and suspects that you are impaired.
What does that mean and how do I get my license back?
How Can Implied Consent Cost Me My License?
You can refuse to take any tests, but your license will immediately be suspended if you do. Does that mean you should just agree to the test and avoid the license suspension?
If you take a breath test and register a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .15 or more, you still lose your license and it will make it more difficult to avoid a DUI conviction.
On the other hand, if you refuse the test, the arresting officer misses out on some of the strongest evidence they can use against you. A breathalyzer reading of .08 or higher is all the state needs to convict you – without it, the officer will have to rely on his own observations and the less scientific results of roadside field sobriety tests to prove that your ability to drive was materially and substantially impaired.
How Can I Get My License Back?
So, what about the license suspension?
You have 30 days to request a hearing through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Once you request the hearing, you can get a temporary license so that you can drive until the hearing. This hearing is part of an administrative process that is in a different court and that is separate from the criminal charge of DUI.
If the officer doesn’t show up at the hearing, you get your license back. If the officer does show up but does not testify, you get your license back (it does happen on occasion).
If the officer shows up and does testify, your attorney will then cross-examine him or her to challenge whether there was probable cause for pulling you over, whether you actually refused the test, and whether the officer complied with State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) policy when the test was offered. If the answer to any of these questions is no, you will get your license back.
If you don’t request the hearing within the 30-day limit, or if the hearing officer upholds your suspension, you will have to participate in the alcohol and drug safety action program (ADSAP) before you can get your license back, and you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
Myrtle Beach DUI Defense and License Suspension Lawyers
Your SC DUI defense attorneys at the Lovely Law Firm will help you to request the administrative implied consent hearing within the 30-day deadline, represent you at the hearing, and work to get your license back as soon as possible.
Call us now at (843) 839-4111 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.