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South Carolina cop loses job over implied consent laws

Every traffic stop for drunk driving has its own nuances and circumstances surrounding the situation. However, once a police officer pulls over a driver and reasonably believes that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, some standard rules apply to every traffic stop regardless of the circumstances. These rules are better known as implied consent laws.

Every state, including South Carolina, has implied consent laws. Under these laws, drivers are required to submit to some form of chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol content level. A driver's BAC can be determined by testing alcohol levels in blood, breath or urine. Should a driver refuse to take a breath test, penalties will be assessed.

The main idea behind an implied consent law is that being allowed to drive on the roadways is a privilege, not a right. Having taken advantage of that privilege, drivers give their consent to be tested for substances if a police officer has reason to believe that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A South Carolina police officer has lost his job after not only being charged with DUI, but also after a breath test refusal. According to authorities, the man was pulled over early on a Sunday morning last month after police reportedly witnessed him speeding and also saw his car cross over the center line. He allegedly failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a breath test, which is a violation of South Carolina's implied consent law.

The man was fired the following Tuesday. The reason given for his termination was violation of personnel regulations, South Carolina laws and rules of conduct.

As can be seen from this situation, merely being charged with drunk driving can have an extended negative impact on one's life, whether one is eventually found guilty or not. In situations such as these, it is important to recruit a strong defense. With the right defense, it may be possible to minimize consequences like these.

Source: Examiner.com, "Officer fired for DUI," Chris McGraw, Nov. 20, 2012

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