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Refused to take a breath test? What are the consequences?

Any time an individual is pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, the potential consequences can be very severe. However, every traffic stop is unique and there are certain aspects of some stops that may make the consequences more severe. One of these instances is when the driver refuses to take a breath test at the request of police. According to South Carolina's implied consent laws, there can be immediate consequences for this decision to refuse.

A woman who was driving the roads of Rock Hill, South Carolina reportedly was pulled over around 7:30 a.m. on a weekday while driving her son to school. A police officer pulled her over after she was spotted allegedly driving 40 mph through a school zone, which had a posted speed limit of 25 mph.

After the officer opened the woman's driver's side door, he administered sobriety testing. He believed she showed signs of impairment, but the woman refused to take a Breathalyzer test. She said that she'd been drinking too much the night before and had not eaten anything.

The woman was arrested and charged with DUI in addition to other charges including failure to stop for a police vehicle with lights and sirens.

Under South Carolina implied consent laws, when a suspected drunk driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test, he or she is subject to the automatic revocation of his or her driver's license. This revocation can last for at least 60 days but possibly longer, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the situation.

A breath test refusal can make a DUI case more challenging. However, a rigorous defense can help even in these types of cases. This is why it is essential to fully examine all aspects of the traffic stop and evidence, which can result in the reduction or dismissal of charges in some cases.

Source: Mail Online, "Mother arrested for DUI at 7.30am after police chase her on school run with her 10-year-old son in the car," Paul Thompson, Feb. 26, 2013

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