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What are implied consent laws?

When you get pulled over by a police officer, the officer will usually look for signs of intoxication. If the signs appear to be there, then the officer will request that you take a breathalyzer test. This test will reveal your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). "Implied consent laws" come into play when drivers refuse to take a BAC breathalyzer test.

Although there is considerable debate over the accuracy of BAC breathalyzer tests, and they can sometimes be thrown out as evidence in court, failing your breathalyzer test could mean you will be arrested. That said, the officer does have to ask for your permission to take the breathalyzer test and it is every driver's right to refuse. In fact, over 20 percent of people pulled over for suspected drunk driving refuse to submit to these tests in the United States.

In many cases, DUI defense attorneys have more arguments to make in favor of their clients' innocence when no breathalyzer test was completed. That said, drivers who refuse the breathalyzer test will be automatically penalized under "implied consent laws."

Drivers in all U.S. states provide consent to chemical tests and field sobriety tests when they get their drivers' licenses. Drivers who refuse to take the breathalyzer test risk getting their license automatically suspended and other penalties.

Whether or not your refused their breathalyzer test, if you have been arrested on DUI charges in the state of South Carolina, you will have options for your legal defense. In fact, even if your breathalyzer test results appear to show an extremely high alcohol level in your system at the time you were arrested, it may be possible to have those test results removed as evidence during your trial. By speaking with a qualified South Carolina defense attorney, you can evaluate the facts of your DUI case to determine the best next steps to take in your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Implied Consent Laws," accessed Dec. 17, 2015

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