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Refusing a breath test comes with steep penalties

Refusing a breath test when you are pulled over for drunk driving is your right. This doesn't mean that refusal comes without a consequence. In fact, the implied consent law means that when you got your driver's license, you agreed to take breath tests when one was requested or else you would face penalties.

South Carolina has very strict laws when it comes to breath test refusal. On a first offense, you face a six month driver's license suspension. The second and third refusals come with indefinite suspensions.

Once you are eligible to get your driver's license back, you will have to work for it. You have to take the education course known as the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services course. On top of this, you have to carry SR22 insurance for three years. You also have to pay a license reinstatement fee of at least $100.

As you can see, refusing a breath test might seem like a good idea at the time but it does come with some steep penalties. Of course, you do have the right to appeal the administrative actions that come along with refusal.

If you plan to appeal, make sure that you do so quickly. There are strict time limits for appeals that you must comply with. Read all notices that you get carefully to determine what you need to do.

You will also have to deal with the criminal aspects of the drunk driving arrest, so be sure you are prepared for that. Ultimately, you have to decide how much you are willing to let one mistake impact your life.

Source: DMV.org, "DUI & DWI in South Carolina," accessed June 09, 2017

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