WHAT IS IMPLIED CONSENT REFUSAL IN COLUMBIA, SC?
DUI is a criminal offense. If you are pulled over based on suspicion of a DUI in Columbia, SC you are going to hear about “implied consent.” It can be confusing to decipher what this term actually means, what your rights are, whether you can refuse the test, and if you refuse what happens.
SOUTH CAROLINA IMPLIED CONSENT LAW
Under South Carolina law, SC Code Section 56-5-2950, there is a presumption that getting your license subjects you to certain actions by law enforcement. Implied consent is one these actions. Essentially, if you obtain a driver’s license and use the roads in South Carolina, you are “consenting” to chemical testing. In the case of a DUI stop the chemical testing can be a breathalyzer, urine, or blood test.
REFUSING THE IMPLIED CONSENT TEST
However, unlike some states, you can refuse to have your blood taken under South Carolina law. But, this might not be the best idea. Your refusal can be given after the officer has video recorded him or her giving you a written copy or verbally informing you that refusing the test will result in a mandatory license suspension. Further, the refusal can be used against you in court.
Upon the refusal, your license will automatically be revoked. The revocation is as follows:
- 6 months suspended license for the first refusal
- 9 months suspended license for the second refusal
- 1 year suspended license for the third refusal
GETTING YOUR LICENSE BACK
If your license has been suspended for refusing to take chemical testings after a DUI stop, you have two options for trying to get your license back:
- Enroll in Ignition Interlock Device Program (IID): To reinstate your license you can enroll in IID. You must cover the cost of the IID yourself. Prices generally range from $70-$100 per month as well as a similar installation cost.
- Administrative hearing: Once you receive your suspension you can request an administrative hearing ($200 fee). This must be requested within 30 days from your notice date. Once your hearing request and is processed you can apply for a TAL license (Temporary Alcohol License). The TAL has no restrictions and will allow you to drive until the hearing. If you win your hearing, your license will be reinstated. If you lose your hearing, the suspension remains and the TAL is cancelled. You can sometimes apply for a restricted license, which will allow you to drive to work, school, or other similar places.
If you choose to schedule an administrative hearing you might want to consider hiring a Columbia, SC criminal law attorney. Your attorney will be familiar with the process and give you the best chance at success.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING
The hearing is not your DUI hearing, but is only to decide if your license should be suspended. The hearing will be similar to a court hearing. It is presided over by an Administrative Hearing Officer, who acts like a judge. The arresting officer will give testimony and evidence will be presented to the Administrative Hearing Officer. You or your attorney can cross-examine any witnesses, including the officers. You will also have the opportunity to challenge if your arrest was legal, or if you were properly informed of your rights. After all the evidence and testimony is heard, the Administrative Hearing Officer will rule on whether your license is suspended.
CONTACT A COLUMBIA, SC CRIMINAL ATTORNEY TODAY
Having a suspended license for refusing a chemical test may result in additional penalties and charges. William A. Hodge Attorney At Law can provide a free consultation so you can decide if you need representation. Contact us online or call 803-457-2216 today to schedule a consultation.