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Taking a look at South Carolina's breath testing site mandates

Popular imagery of drunk driving arrests generally involves roadside field sobriety testing and breath tests. Although sobriety tests may come standard in South Carolina traffic stops for drunk driving, the breath test portion will probably look a little different.

Regulations from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the agency responsible for maintaining the testing program, indicate that very specific conditions must be met for a breath-alcohol test to be administered.

As every new DataMaster DMT device is approved by state officials for testing, it must also meet the standards for location. The following are some of the basic requirements for a breath test site:

  • The testing device must be used in a climate that ranges between 65 and 80 degrees.
  • Testing sites must have a high-speed Internet connection and dedicated phone line.
  • Test sites must meet specific electrical and wiring standards.
  • Testing must be conducted in a secured building or van.

In other words, breath testing cannot be completed at the side of the road, largely because the conditions are too variable and many of the state requirements cannot be met. The idea is that having a stable, consistent environment for testing will yield reliable results.

For anyone who is arrested for driving under the influence and later subjected to a breath test, it will be important to ensure that the test was conducted in a facility or vehicle that meets all of these standards. Any breath test evidence that was collected in a matter that fails to meet this bar set by the state may not be considered admissible in a court of law.

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