In early December, Clemson University economics professor and Columbia resident, Ronald David Lamie, was arrested for a DUI after his vehicle was spotted repeatedly crossing the center line along a Kershaw County road. After two officers stopped Lamie and noticed the strong scent of alcohol coming from his vehicle, the deputy performed a roadside sobriety test and determined he was severely intoxicated. Later, Lamie was brought to a detention center and took a breathalyzer test, confirming that his BAC was 0.15, well over the legal limit.
In the event that you are pulled over by an officer under suspicion of driving intoxicated, many are confused as to whether they would be allowed to refuse a chemical test that would determine their level of sobriety. While all states differ in how they treat DUI laws, most states—including South Carolina—have an “implied consent” law, wherein refusal to take a chemical test will result in suspension of your driver’s license. Although there are many factors to consider when determining whether you would be better off refusing a chemical test in a DUI arrest, a well versed Columbia DUI lawyer can help guide you through this process.
Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test
Even though logic follows that refusing a sobriety or chemical test will give the court no hard proof of your intoxication, not taking these tests generally do not help your case. In fact, prosecution can use your refusal as evidence that you were indeed intoxicated. The penalties for refusing a chemical test when pulled over include:
- First offense – 6 month license suspension
- Second offense – 9 month license suspension
- Third offense – 1 year license suspension
It should also be noted that just because you do not take a chemical test does not mean that you will not receive a conviction. Jury members may think that if you truly were not intoxicated, you would not be so hesitant to take a breathalyzer test. The best thing to do in these circumstances would be to consult with a lawyer.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Columbia
Driving while intoxicated will not only result in a criminal record, but the stigma associated with a conviction could impact your career, reputation, and relationships. While the repercussions of a DUI are difficult to cope with and this may present a stressful time, you do not have to face these uncertainties alone. Don’t hesitate to contact the highly skilled DUI attorneys at Truslow & Truslow by calling our Columbia offices at (803) 256-6276 for help in your case.