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Why it’s important to challenge a DUI implied consent suspension

Why it’s important to challenge a DUI implied consent suspension

If you’ve been arrested for DUI you might also be facing a separate implied consent suspension. It’s important that if you are, you ensure that additional steps are taken to protect your rights.

South Carolina’s implied consent law requires that a person’s license to drive be suspended if they refuse to take an alcohol, breath or blood test at the request of law enforcement. A suspension also applies if a breath test is given and it reports a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or higher. Suspensions for refusal are for 6 months. High sample suspensions are for 30 days.

Implied consent suspensions begin immediately. The DMV doesn’t wait on your court date or to see if you are guilty or not guilty of DUI before imposing them. The suspension periods are also in addition to whatever suspension you might get if you were convicted in court. In addition to the license suspension, the implied consent law also requires completion of the ADSAP course and payment of additional fees in order to reinstate your license.

You only have thirty days to make sure that a challenge is made to the implied consent suspension. Once that time period has passed, you’ll lose your right to challenge the suspension. This means that even if your DUI charge is later dismissed, you’ll still have to complete the suspension period and the reinstatement requirements.

In addition to avoiding the suspension period and reinstatement requirements, there are several other advantages to challenging an implied consent suspension. One is that by doing so you can become eligible for an unrestricted driver’s license (called a temporary alcohol license) that can be obtained in just a few days. This will allow you to get back on the road again legally.

Another advantage is that the process to challenge an implied consent suspension can provide opportunities for your lawyer to learn more about your case and how the police officer will testify, helping them better prepare for fighting your DUI. This can increase the chances of a successful resolution of the DUI charge.

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we assist our clients in challenging implied consent suspensions as part of our DUI defense service. Implied consent suspensions aren’t heard by the court, instead, they are heard by the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings in downtown Columbia. We are generally able to file the necessary petition with the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings the same, or next-business-day we’re retained. We file these petitions in-person so that our client’s license reinstatement isn’t held up by mail delays. It’s our goal to get our client’s driving again legally as quickly as possible.

For help with your case call us today at 1-888-301-6004.

Attorney James R. Snell, Jr., is a member of the National College of DUI Defense. He is a graduate of Harvard University and is the author of South Carolina DUI Defense: The Law and Practice (available on  He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, Columbia Business Monthly, and Lexington Life Magazine. He is also the former president of the Lexington County Bar Association.


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