Implied Consent License Suspension Lawyer in Charleston, SC

South Carolina’s implied consent laws say that, if you drive on SC highways, you “impliedly consent” to breath tests if an officer suspects you of DUI.

Does this mean you must take the breathalyzer when an officer asks you to?


You have the right to refuse the breathalyzer – or blood tests unless they obtain a warrant. But, if you refuse the breathalyzer, there are consequences that may include:

  • License suspension;
  • ADSAP (alcohol and drug safety action program); and
  • Ignition interlock devices.

All is not lost, however – in many cases, we may be able to get your license back and avoid the other implied consent consequences if we are successful at your implied consent administrative hearing.

What is an Administrative Hearing in SC?

If you refuse the breathalyzer, or if you take the breathalyzer and the result is greater than .15, the officer will take your license and you cannot drive.

You now have 30 days to request an administrative hearing through the DMV – if you do not request the hearing or if you lose the hearing, the license suspension will remain in effect, you will have to enroll in the ADSAP program, and you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car.

Once we request your administrative hearing, you can go to the DMV and get a temporary license that will allow you to drive until the hearing.

At the implied consent hearing, we will be able to cross-examine the officer and argue that:

  • There was no probable cause for DUI;
  • The test was not properly offered (the officer did not follow SLED policy and procedure or violated the implied consent laws); or
  • You did not actually refuse the test (for example, an “incomplete” or other error code on the machine does not necessarily mean that you refused the test).

If we win your hearing, if the officer does not appear at the hearing, or if the officer does not enter testimony at the hearing, your license will be restored to you.

I Won My Implied Consent Hearing, What Now?

If you win the implied consent hearing, you get your license back – the “suspension is rescinded.”

This is not the end of your case, however. The DUI charges are in a separate criminal court, and the outcome of the implied consent hearing has no effect on your DUI case – if you win your administrative hearing, you must still fight the DUI charge.

On the other hand, if you lose the administrative hearing, that also has no effect on your DUI case, although the license suspension will be separate from and consecutive to any license suspension that is imposed if you are also convicted of the DUI charge.

SC Implied Consent License Suspension Attorney in Charleston

If you have been charged with a DUI-related offense and refused the breathalyzer in the Charleston, Georgetown, or Myrtle Beach areas of Eastern SC, call Charleston, SC DUI defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.