Will I lose my South Carolina driver’s license if I refuse to give a breathalyzer test?

Yes, if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, your driver’s license will be suspended under South Carolina’s “implied consent” law. However, an attorney can help you to get your driving privileges restored.

This law is based on the principle that, by virtue of driving in South Carolina, you consent to submitting to a breath, blood or urine test if you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving.

You have the right to refuse the test. However, if you do refuse, your license will be automatically suspended from the date of your refusal. Depending on your prior record, the suspension could last anywhere from six months (first offense) to 15 months (fourth offense). Also, the solicitor’s office could use your refusal against you in court, and you will need to enroll in an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.

If this happens to you, don’t despair. First, within 30 days of the refusal, you can request a hearing before the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles. You can seek driving privileges while you are waiting for this hearing. If your license is still suspended after your DMV hearing, you can still apply for limiting driving privileges.

The issue of your DMV license suspension is separate and distinct from the DUI or DUAC charge you may be facing. You will need an attorney’s help for both matters.

Posted in: DUI / DUAC FAQs