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Myrtle Beach driver calls police after crash, refuses breath test

Drivers are pulled over daily across the country for investigations into possible driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of drunk driving suspects in the United States refuse to take a breath test or another blood alcohol content test. Although the average is 20 percent, these numbers vary greatly by state. This is likely due in large part to the existence of implied consent laws in some states.

When a state, such as South Carolina, has an implied consent law it means that, upon applying for a driver's license, an individual has consented to taking chemical tests as well as field sobriety tests when they are suspected of driving under the influence. In such states when a driver refuses BAC and sobriety testing, he or she risks immediate penalties, including automatic driver's license suspension or worse.

A South Carolina woman who called the cops after getting into a car accident has been charged with a DUI and after refusing to take a breath test. The woman crashed her car shortly after midnight on Christmas Eve. Police were called to the accident scene and the woman was sitting in her car and the front wheel was flat. She told the police that she had driven her car too close to the curb and incidentally got a flat tire.

According to police, the woman allegedly looked as if she was under the influence of alcohol, smelled strongly of alcohol and was slurring her words. When police asked the woman about drinking, she said she had a few drinks at a bar earlier in the evening. According to police, they administered a roadside field sobriety test, which she failed. At that point, police claim she refused to take a breath test. As previously mentioned, breath test refusal is a violation of South Carolina's implied consent laws.

In South Carolina, refusing to take a breath test means an automatic suspension of the individual's driver's license for at least 60 days. In these types of situations, it is important to have a strong defense to increase the chances of receiving a mitigated sentence if convicted.

Source: WBTW News 13, "DUI driver calls cops after crashing, getting flat tire, Myrtle Beach police say," Dec. 25, 2012

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