Implied Consent – Administrative License Suspension

Under South Carolina's implied consent laws, if you are arrested for DUI and refuse to submit to a breath test, your privilege to drive is immediately suspended.

On the other hand, if you do blow into the breathalyzer and register a .15 or greater, your privilege to drive is still immediately suspended.

It’s called an implied consent suspension, or an administrative suspension, and you will need to act quickly to avoid the consequences and get your license reinstated.

What is Implied Consent in SC?

Under South Carolina’s implied consent laws, you “impliedly consent” to give breath or blood tests if you are arrested for a DUI offense. You don’t have to take the tests, and, in most cases, you should not take the tests, but there are consequences for refusing.

The Officer Took My License – What do I Do?

If you have an implied consent suspension following your arrest for DUI, you must request an administrative hearing within 30 days of your arrest to contest the suspension.

If you do not request a hearing, or if the suspension is upheld at the hearing, you will have to enroll in the alcohol and drug safety action program (ADSAP) and you may have to install an ignition interlock device before you can drive again, even if you win your DUI case.

Call your SC DUI attorney immediately – your DUI defense lawyer can file the paperwork, represent you at the implied consent hearing, and answer any questions that you may have.

Once you have requested the implied consent hearing, you will be able to get a temporary alcohol restricted license (TARL) that will allow you to drive until the hearing date.

How Do I Win an Implied Consent Hearing in SC?

At the administrative hearing, you can contest the probable cause for the arrest and whether the arresting officer and Datamaster operator followed proper procedures during the process.

If the hearing officer finds: 1) That there was no probable cause for the DUI arrest; 2) That the breath test was not properly offered to you; or 3) That you did not actually refuse the test, the officer's decision to suspend your license will be overturned by the administrative court and you will be able to get your full license reinstated at the DMV.

I Won My Implied Consent Hearing – Is My Case Over?

The implied consent hearing is an administrative hearing in the Administrative Law Court that is separate from the criminal court that will hear your DUI case.

If you win the implied consent hearing, your license is returned to you, but – you still must fight the DUI charges. If you are convicted of DUI, your license will still be suspended based on the DUI conviction.

Similarly, if you lose the implied consent hearing or don’t request one, the administrative license suspension will still be in place even if you later win the DUI case in criminal court. They are two separate courts, each with their own consequences.

SC License Suspension and Implied Consent Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, Lexington, and Columbia

Lacey Thompson focuses her practice exclusively on criminal defense and DUI defense in SC courts. If your license has been suspended under South Carolina's implied consent laws, call the Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm now at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to ensure that your rights are protected.