Call Today 803.359.3301
Should you have refused a breath test in South Carolina?

Should you have refused a breath test in South Carolina?

If you’re charged with DUI in South Carolina you likely had to make a decision as to whether or not to give a breath test. Either way, you’re probably wondering now if you made the right choice. There is no answer that is the same for everyone. Each situation is unique, and some people are better off blowing and some people are better off refusing. The following gives the background information on South Carolina DUI law and breath testing that can help you determine the best choice.

This office conducted a review of all breath test procedures in Lexington and Richland County over a recent 3 year period. We found that approximately 40% of those arrested for DUI refused the breath test. Of the remaining 60% that provided a sample, a small percentage did not register any alcohol in their system. These are likely those who were either suspected of drug impairment, or had the unfortunate experience of getting a sober DUI. Of those who tested with alcohol in their system, the average level was a 0.14, but 52% of takers had a level of 0.16 or higher.

A score of 0.16 or higher is significant, because it places the case in the highest-level of DUI. This significantly increases the possible fine and/or jail sentence.

Only approximately 10% of takers with alcohol in their system were at 0.08 or below. This means that 90% of those tested with alcohol had a reading of 0.09% or higher. For those who had been drinking and then submitted a breath test the overwhelming majority of the time the result was not helpful to their case.

It is important to note that there is no automatic DUI level in South Carolina. You can be found guilty or not guilty at any breath level. Lower results, including 0.00%, would require the state to prove intoxication by a substance other than alcohol. This could be prescription medication, illegal drugs, herbal supplements, or even other substances such as paint or glue fumes.

It’s also important to know that if you refused to take a breath test or if you score 0.15% or higher, your license will be suspended under South Carolina’s implied consent law. There are procedures available to quickly restore an unrestricted driving credential. This is called a temporary alcohol license, and we assist our clients with filing the required paperwork immediately upon being retained. The temporary alcohol license does not require ADSAP, or SR-22 insurance, and allows for 24/7 unrestricted driving anywhere in South Carolina.  

Based on the averages, most people who agreed to a breath test did make their case more serious. However, there are instances where taking a breath test was the correct decision. Either way, and regardless of the breath test result, it is possible to seek help for any DUI case. This can include seeking a favorable reduction, or even a dismissal.


Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.