Experienced Breath Test & Field Sobriety Test Defense Attorney
Legal guidance when you’ve failed or refused a Breathalyzer or SFST in Columbia
Drivers in South Carolina have the right to refuse a breath test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Few people realize they have this important right. Why help the police by giving them the evidence they seek to use against you? In a non-felony driving under the influence (DUI) case, you are not required to voluntarily give law enforcement the breath, blood, or urine test evidence the state will use to convict you.
However, breath, blood, or urine test refusal does come with consequences. You could still be charged with DUI based on evidence other than their breath tests. You will also face an automatic license suspension for at least six months. For most people, such a lengthy loss of driving privileges is a significant hardship.
Fortunately, if you act quickly, you can challenge the suspension. You may be able to reinstate your driving privileges or receive a restricted driver's license that gives you the ability to get to work or school. Criminal defense attorney Randy Hough, a former prosecutor with over 25 years of experience, has handled over 2,000 DUI cases. He excels at finding the right angles for presenting a compelling case. He approaches every case with the determination it takes to win. Call The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. today.
“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.” - Attorney Hough
What are field sobriety tests and breath tests?
When a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will typically ask you to perform a field sobriety tests (FSTs). These tests are allegedly designed to determine whether or not a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. FSTs are physical tests, and a breath test is chemical. You are not required to perform field sobriety tests, but South Carolina law does not compel the arresting officer to inform you of this right.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST)
The standardized field sobriety tests consist of the following three tests in this specific order. These standardized field sobriety tests and all field sobriety tests should be video recorded by the arresting officer under South Carolina law:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN)
- Walk and turn
- One legged stand
The officer may also ask you to perform other non-standard tests, like putting your finger to your nose, reciting the alphabet backwards, or other types of balance testing.
A breath test is a form of chemical test. Sometimes you will hear some people, including police officers, refer to the breath test machine as the “Breathalyzer.” This is incorrect. Here in South Carolina, the only legal breath test device is the DataMaster DMT. This breath test uses infrared technology to measure a person’s alcohol content from his or her breath. Breath tests should also be video recorded.
If you find yourself facing DUI or DUAC charges, Attorney Hough can help you fight them, and work to get your license reinstated.
The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. also aggressively defends clients against other criminal charges, including assault, arson, kidnapping, and charges against college students. We also handle drunk driving defense.
Are breath test machines reliable?
Although their technology has changed over the years, breath tests are inherently unreliable. Inaccurate results can still happen for any number of reasons, and we will investigate every possible avenue for your defense. Common reasons for inaccurate results include:
- Mouthwashes with alcohol content
- Cough syrup containing alcohol
- Individuals with diabetes who produce excess ketones
- Individuals with low carb diets who produce excess ketones
- Dental work that traps mouth alcohol
- Breath test machine software malfunctions
If your license has been suspended because of a refusal or high breath reading, your driving privileges will be suspended. You must request an administrative hearing within thirty days to fight that suspension. DUI defense attorney Randy Hough can help.
Finding weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, building a strong DUI defense for you
Navigating the legal ramifications of a breath test refusal or high reading can be confusing. At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we offer clarity and results-focused representation. Attorney Hough draws on his background as a former prosecutor to guide clients through both the criminal consequences of a DUI arrest and the administrative issues surrounding their driver's license. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Columbia or Charleston, please call 803-771-4119 or fill out our contact form.