Anderson DUI Lawyer
Anderson South Carolina DUI Lawyer
SLED Certifies and Inspects Breath-Testing Equipment in South Carolina
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) procedure calls for the inspection of each certified breath-testing device a minimum of one time in a three-month period or when any repairs are completed. The time between inspections may not exceed three months unless the inspection began prior to the three-month deadline but was not completed until after the three-month deadline as long as no subject samples are collected during the inspection period. SLED must perform an inspection within three months prior to any subject test. Failure to perform an inspection within the required time signifies proper procedures were not followed.
Changes to S.C. DUI Law include Interlock Device for all First Time Convictions
Emma’s Law (2014) currently requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence with an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher. A participant in the IID program must have the IID inspected and the data downloaded by the service provider a minimum of one time every 60 days. Drivers convicted of a first-offense DUI with an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher are prohibited from having their South Carolina driver's license reinstated without successful completion of the IID program. Drivers convicted of DUI with an alcohol concentration of .15 or greater who elect not to enroll in the IID program will remain suspended indefinitely.
Required installation of an ignition interlock device will expand to all first-time offenders arrested and convicted of driving under the influence after May 19, 2024, in the state of South Carolina.
There will be an IID requirement for drivers who are cited for an implied consent violation by refusing to submit a breath, blood, or urine sample for chemical testing (e.g., refusing the breathalyzer) and drivers who register an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher.
Police are trained not to reveal the Hidden Measure of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test.
Nystagmus is an involuntary bouncing or jerking of the eye. Sometimes called the "Pen Test," the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN) was developed to identify nystagmus in the eyes of drivers under DUI investigation. Nystagmus is a common side effect of using substances such as nicotine, caffeine, and aspirin but is also a side effect of what police have been trained to recognize as clues of impairment from illegal drugs or alcohol.
The HGN test begins with a police officer instructing a driver to identify a stimulus (e.g., pen, finger, or flashlight) 12 to 15 inches away and slightly above the driver's eye level. The driver will be instructed to follow the stimulus with eyes only, without moving the head, as the officer moves the stimulus from side to side (horizontally) in the driver's field of vision. A police officer conducting the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test will check the driver's eyes for three clues of nystagmus.
1. Lack of Smooth Pursuit: Does the eye follow the stimuli smoothly as it moves from the center of the face toward the ear, or is there an involuntary bouncing or jerking present?
2. Distinct and Sustained Nystagmus at Maximum Deviation: Does the pupil have a distinct and sustained bouncing or jerking motion after being held toward the outer edge for four seconds?
3. Onset of Nystagmus Prior to 45 Degrees: As the officer moves the stimuli toward the edge of the motorist's shoulder, is there an involuntary bouncing or jerking present in the pupil of the motorist before the object is at a 45-degree angle from the center of the suspect's face?
Police are not trained to disclose the hidden criteria of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test but are trained to instruct the driver to follow a stimulus (e.g., pen, finger, or flashlight) with eyes only and without moving their head. The officer's directions to follow the stimulus without moving the head are usually followed, leading most drivers to believe they passed the HGN test. But it’s nearly impossible to pass the HGN test because nystagmus is a side effect of commonly used non-impairing substances. The results of the HGN Test are unreliable based on several factors, including nystagmus documented in an arrest incident report as a clue of impairment but caused by a common non-impairing substance such as nicotine, caffeine, or aspirin.
South Carolina Driver's License Suspended for Refusing Breath, Blood, or Urine Test
When a South Carolina motorist refuses to submit a breath, blood, or urine sample for chemical testing during an arrest for driving under the influence a notice of suspended driving privileges will be issued by the arresting officer. A notice of suspension will also be issued if a South Carolina motorist submits a breath, blood, or urine sample for chemical testing and registers an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher. The uniform traffic ticket issued by the arresting officer for the underlying DUI charge is an initial court appearance in a South Carolina Summary or General Sessions Court but is not the proper venue for challenging an implied consent violation.
A contested case hearing in the South Carolina Administrative Law Court is the fastest and most effective way to find temporary relief from the hardship of suspended driving privileges for refusing to submit a sample (breath, blood, or urine) for chemical testing or registering an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher. The defendant has 30 days from the DUI arrest date to challenge the suspended driver's license. There are no exceptions to the 30-day filing deadline. The short-term impact of challenging an implied consent violation is the potential temporary restoration of driving privileges.
A Temporary Alcohol License (TAL) restores noncommercial driving privileges on a temporary basis, pausing the suspension pending a ruling from a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Hearing Officer.
Contested case hearings are held in designated regional locations, so the venue for the implied consent hearing could be a different location or even a different county than the underlying DUI charge. If the hearing officer rules in favor of the driver, the suspension will end. If the hearing officer rules in favor of the police officer, the temporary alcohol license will be revoked, the suspension will resume, and successful completion of the Alcohol Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) will be required before South Carolina driving privileges can be fully restored.
Travis Newton Law Firm
Travis A. Newton Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney
Travis Newton is a graduate of the Appalachian School of Law and Clemson University. Travis was a founding member of the Appalachian School of Law Christian Legal Society and a summer extern at South Carolina's 8th Circuit Public Defenders office. Travis Newton Law Firm has defended thousands of clients in South Carolina Summary and General Sessions Courts over the last seventeen years. Travis Newton has been Lead Counsel Verified for DUI Defense by Thomson Reuters for 10 consecutive years and is a founding member of The American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys. When questioned by police, it is important to remain silent and contact a Criminal or DUI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. A consultation with Criminal and DUI Defense Attorney Travis Newton will provide answers that can lead to informed decisions on how to proceed.
Travis A. Newton Anderson S.C. DUI Defense Attorney
Travis A. Newton DUI Defense Attorney Anderson, South Carolina
The procedural flaws in standardized field sobriety tests are further aggravated when instructions and demonstrations are communicated to the driver in a manner inconsistent with NHTSA guidelines. The experimental procedures used in the development of standardized field sobriety tests are unreliable based on several factors, including the incomplete scripted instructions police officers are trained to deliver and natural human reactions to fear misinterpreted as clues of impairment by police officers. Participant performance in a lab setting was not negatively impacted by the fear of instant incarceration, loss of driver's license, and potential unemployment as a consequence of a failure. If the South Carolina Driver's License (SCDL) is suspended for refusing to submit a breath, blood, or urine sample for chemical testing or for registering an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher, there are important filing deadlines that can disqualify relief in the form of a temporary alcohol license so don't wait to contact a DUI Lawyer.
A criminal record can have a negative impact on professional and educational opportunities long after fines, sentencing, and DMV penalties have expired. When questioned or arrested by police, it is important to remain silent and contact a criminal or DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Travis Newton Law Firm has defended thousands of clients in S.C. Summary and General Sessions Courts. A consultation with Anderson DUI Lawyer Travis Newton will provide answers that can lead to informed decisions on how to proceed (864) 965-9148.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device or IID?
South Carolina’s Interlock Ignition Program is managed by the Department of Probation, Pardon, and Parole. An interlock consists of a relay module that is wired into the vehicle's ignition system. The device draws a portion of the driver's breath sample into a fuel cell sensor. The presence of alcohol in the sensor chamber causes the fuel cell to output an increased electrical current, which is measured and then translated into an equivalent alcohol concentration. If the result of the test is below an alcohol concentration of .02, an encrypted signal is sent to the relay, allowing the vehicle engine to start. If the test result is above .02 the vehicle’s ignition system will remain locked. When the device is unlocked, the IID is designed not to interfere with the normal operation of a vehicle, so while the device can prevent a vehicle from starting, it will not shut down a running vehicle.