2 Commonly Asked Questions About DUIs
If you are facing a DUI charge for drinking and driving in South Carolina, then you may have some question on your mind. Even if this is only your first offense, a DUI is a serious criminal charge that should not be taken lightly. Not fully understanding the charge you have pending against you can cause you to make poor decisions and lead to an unfavorable outcome. Take some time to review a couple of questions that our South Carolina DUI Lawyer often receives from potential clients.
Q. How did the officer know to pull me over?
It is not easy to know when a driver is under the influence of alcohol or some other impairment-causing substance. But there are some common characteristics that intoxicated motorists exhibit when they are behind the wheel. They include:
- Sleepy and drowsy appearance
- Erratic and reckless driving behavior
- Slumped over steering wheel
Keep in mind that the police do not rely solely on your behaviors behind the wheel to determine if they should apprehend you. You could be driving in a DUI enforcement zone, or have committed a traffic offense that caught their attention. If you are pulled over for a traffic infraction and the officer smells alcohol on your breath or in your vehicle, or you appear to be intoxicated, they have probable cause to ask you questions about your recent drinking activities and to perform a field sobriety test.
Q. What happens if I refused to take the field sobriety tests?
If you refuse to take a field sobriety test, the consequences depend on your offense history. If this is your first time refusing, the state will suspend your license for six months. The suspension period for second and third field sobriety testing refusal incidents are 9 months and 12 months respectively. The suspension period increases with each refusal. Refusing a test may seem like a good thing to do. But it can be seen as an admission of guilt and used against you in court.
You should never accept a DUI charge without first understanding evidence against you. No matter your level of guilt is, a DUI conviction carries serious consequences. Even if you think you cannot afford an attorney, you should at least speak to one to gain a better understanding of your situation. They can also go over the details and help you develop a defense that leads to a reduced charge or a not guilty verdict.