dui in south carolina

Experiencing an arrest for alleged DUI in South Carolina is a life-changing event. As soon as the arrest occurs, there will be negative impacts on your ability to drive and how you can live your everyday routine. In fact, DUI arrests are one of only a few in South Carolina’s criminal justice system that can change your life even before a potential conviction.

With these ideas in mind, it is important to know how to be able to protect yourself both in and out of court. Knowing what to do after getting a DUI in South Carolina can both improve your chances of avoiding a conviction and help maintain stability in the short-term. The legal team at Truslow & Truslow PA is ready to explain how a DUI arrest will impact your future and provide more information about how you can protect yourself.

How to Protect Your Future Immediately After an Arrest

Unfortunately, once a police officer decides to make an arrest for DUI, there is little you can do to prevent the arrest, booking, and possible prosecution. Even so, there are steps you can take to limit the immediate damage and prevent a police officer from building a more powerful case.

Always remember that police officers are not your friends. Their main goal is to collect evidence that helps build a case in criminal court. They will ask questions like, “How much have you had to drink.” There is no obligation to answer these questions. There is also no requirement that you participate in field sobriety tests. In fact, beyond providing basic identification information, there is no need to talk to police officers at all.

The sole exception to this rule is South Carolina’s implied consent law. In short, all drivers give their implied consent to submit to blood/alcohol tests. Because of this, officers can demand that you provide this evidence. Failing to do so results in an immediate license suspension. Whether you want to submit to this test is your choice, but opting out can be one way to weaken a future DUI prosecution.

Preserve Your Ability to Drive While Your Case Moves Forward

Most arrests for alleged drunk driving come with a mandatory license suspension while the case moves through the courts. These may result from a refusal to take a blood/alcohol test or when a test reveals a blood/alcohol level of .15 percent or more. As a result, people often feel the impact of these arrests long before a case goes to trial.

Thankfully, it is often possible to avoid this suspension if a person acts quickly. According to South Carolina Code § 56-5-2951, a person facing a DUI case may petition the court to issue a temporary alcohol license. This is possible when a driver is currently employed or going to school. While there is a fee associated with obtaining this license, it can allow you to continue your life with minimal interruption. In addition, people seeking this option must ask for a special license no more than 30 days after they receive a formal notice of suspension.

There are Direct Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself After a DUI Arrest in South Carolina

Experiencing an arrest for supposed DUI can be an intimidating and disorienting event. Thankfully, knowing what to do after getting a DUI in South Carolina can make your life better in the short-term and help defeat the prosecutor’s case at an eventual trial.

Provide only the minimum information to police officers as required by law. This includes driver’s license information and your address. Remember that there is no obligation to answer other questions or participate in field sobriety tests. While the law does require you to take a blood/alcohol test, you have the option to refuse and accept the associated penalties. 

Even if your license faces suspension while awaiting trial, you may be able to obtain a temporary license to go to work or school. The legal team at Truslow & Truslow PA can provide more information about how to protect yourself after a South Carolina DUI arrest. Reach out now to learn more.