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The state’s drunk driving stop and arrest process

On Behalf of | May 4, 2019 | Drunk Driving

Residents in South Carolina may hear a lot about how the state has strict laws regarding drunk driving but they may not fully understand what could be involved in a potential driving under the influence stop or subsequent arrest. It is important for drivers to know a bit about the process as it is possible for most any driver to be faced with a line of questioning from an officer who suspects the driver is impaired.

As reported recently by Greenville News, one thing drivers do need to remember is that it is not expressly illegal for them to operate a vehicle after having an alcoholic beverage. For drivers over the age of 20, they may consume alcohol and then drive so long as their blood alcohol level does not exceed 0.08%. For drivers between 16 and 20 years old, the threshold is 0.02%.

If an officer pulls a driver over and believes they may be intoxicated, the driver might be asked to take field sobriety tests. A refusal to do so may result in loss of driving privileges as well as criminal prosecution. This may also happen if a driver takes the field sobriety tests but subsequently refuses to take a breath or other chemical test. A driver may be released if they pass the field sobriety tests.

If a driver fails the field tests, they may be asked to take a breath test. A urine test may also be conducted after the breath test. Officers are legally required to take consistent video footage during all stages of the testing. Failure to do so may be grounds for dismissal of a case.