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Failed Sobriety Tests Or Refusal To Submit To Testing

An arrest for drunk driving commonly stems from how a person performs on roadside tests. However, these sobriety tests are not scientific to begin with or conducted under ideal conditions. A good defense lawyer can challenge the basis for arrest and any resulting evidence.

I am attorney Ryan L. Beasley. I have successfully defended people accused of DUI/DUAC and related offenses in Greenville County and the surrounding Upstate counties.

It's not over till it's over. Call me today to discuss your rights and defenses: 864-991-3379 or toll free 800-761-1985.

Did You Fail Or Refuse The DUI Tests?

First of all, it is important to understand South Carolina's implied consent law and the role of field sobriety tests.

  • The police must have a specific reason for pulling you over. You cannot be stopped just because you fit a profile or might be under the influence.
  • You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests (FST), such as the Walk-and-Turn or One-Legged Stand, or saying the alphabet backward. Many people cannot perform these tricks sober and indoors, let alone on the shoulder of the highway under dark, chilly or windy conditions.
  • You do not have to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) on a portable Breathalyzer. This roadside Breathalyzer test gives the officer additional reason to make an arrest, but the PBT results are not reliable enough to be admissible in court as evidence of intoxication.
  • The officer can arrest you for DUI whether or not you perform these tests (and whether or not you "passed").

Only when arrested and taken into custody must a person submit to an "official" DataMaster breath test (or a blood test) back at the police station. The results can be used against you, but as an experienced defense lawyer I know how to challenge a DUI, from the grounds for traffic stops to the administration of the test and the reliability of the results.

Refusing to give a sample violates the state's implied consent law, and results in automatic suspension of your driver's license for six months, with no option for a restricted license. You can still be charged with DUI if you refused the test, although the prosecution will have a harder time proving impairment. You do have options if you refused the breath or blood test. Namely, you can request an administrative hearing to be eligible for a temporary driver's license.

Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Fair

Roadside sobriety tests are never used to prove that a person is sober. They are designed to "catch" drivers and provide the basis for arrest. I work to cast doubt on the reliability of these tests to give my clients a fighting chance in court.

I can help best if I get involved early in the case. Call me today at 864-991-3379 or 800-761-1985, or contact me online to arrange a consultation.