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Driver in South Carolina flees police; refuses breathalyzer

As previous posts in this blog have discussed, sometimes the authorities of South Carolina will set up sobriety checkpoints or put extra forces behind finding and arresting alleged drunk drivers. When a driver happens upon these checkpoints, they may feel nervous and react in an unexpected manner. It is possible that this is what happened to a South Carolina driver that approached a driver's license checkpoint on a Friday morning.

According to authorities, when the driver came upon the checkpoint, he sped up, kept driving and did not stop at the checkpoint. Deputies believe he sped down the road at speeds near 70 mph and ran red lights. At one point during the chase, the driver lost control of his vehicle, which proceeded to become airborne. He then briefly regained control before spinning out in a field.

Deputies claim that once they located and approached the vehicle it did not contain any occupants. The authorities then deployed canine units and tracked down the passengers and the driver. Deputies claim that the 19-year-old driver smelled of alcohol and they therefore attempted to give him a breathalyzer and field sobriety testing. However, the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test.

According to South Carolina's implied consent laws, drivers who either have a blood alcohol content significantly above the legal limit, at .15 or higher, or ultimately end up refusing a breathalyzer are subject to serious consequences, including an automatic revocation of their driver's license.

In some cases a driver refuses a breathalyzer test because they are startled and scared and do not know what they should do. Unfortunately, the severe nature of the consequences that can follow this refusal can leave the driver in an even scarier situation. The good news is that there are experienced drunk driving defense attorneys in South Carolina that know how to help in these situations and want to ensure that these individuals are not unfairly penalized for their in the moment decision to refuse a breathalyzer.

Source: Fox Carolina, "Deputies: Man charged with DUI after chase, crash," Brittany Vollmer, Sept. 21, 2013

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