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What if I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

If you are pulled over because the police think you may be under the influence of alcohol, they will almost certainly offer you a breathalyzer test, and while you have the legal right to refuse it at that point, the matter is more complicated than that. If you refused a breathalyzer and are facing a DUI charge, it’s time to consult with an experienced Columbia, South Carolina, DUI defense attorney.

Refusing a Breath Test

If the police stop you under suspicion of being impaired by alcohol, they’ll offer you a breathalyzer test in order to establish your blood alcohol concentration – or BAC. In South Carolina and virtually every other state, the legal limit is .08 percent BAC, and at that point, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

You can refuse to be tested, but doing so can be used against you. To begin, the police don’t need proof that your BAC is above the limit in order to arrest you. Instead, they can determine that your driving was negatively affected by alcohol.

Your refusal can also be used as evidence against you in your DUI case, and the motivation behind it will be translated to mean that you knew you were impaired to begin with. Finally, your refusal to take a breathalyzer at the scene gives the police the right to take you to the station and test you there.

Breaking Down the Consequences

The bottom line is that driving is not a right but is, instead, a privilege, and when you drive, you give what is called implied consent to have your BAC tested when the necessary circumstances apply. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, but it does mean that your refusal may lead to more consequences than you bargained for, including:

If you’re facing a DUI charge, time is of the essence. For example, if you refuse the breathalyzer test, you have only a specific number of days to fight that automatic driver’s license suspension. Having trusted legal guidance on your side from the outset can significantly improve your chances of effecting a beneficial case resolution.

Speak with an Experienced Columbia, South Carolina, DUI Defense Attorney Today

The accomplished Columbia DUI defense attorneys at Sharpe & Leventis have the experience, legal insight, and resources to help guide your DUI effectively and efficiently forward toward a resolution that supports your rights and your future. To learn more about what we can do to help you, please don’t delay contacting us online or call 803-830-6296 for more information today.