South Carolina law permits law enforcement to draw a blood sample from a suspect in a felony DUI case (meaning the impaired driver caused death or great bodily injury). Also, in misdemeanor DUI cases, law enforcement can obtain a blood sample where the person is unable to provide a breath sample because the person (1) is unconscious, (2) is dead, (3) has an injured mouth, or (4) for any other reason considered acceptable by licensed medical personnel. The enforcement of these laws may change because of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Missouri v. McNeely.

In McNeely, the US Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must generally obtain a search warrant before having blood drawn from a person suspected of DUI in order to test that person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Whether a warrant is required “must be determined case by case based on the totality of the circumstances.” If blood is now drawn without a warrant, the court will be required to decide if the warrant could have been obtained “within a reasonable amount of time” or if doing so would cause too much delay when the person’s alcohol content is falling due to processing in the person’s system. Essentially, The McNeely Court weighed a criminal defendant’s right to privacy with the need for law enforcement to secure evidence.

It is uncertain at this time exactly how the McNeely opinion will affect South Carolina law, but it will assist a defendant’s criminal defense lawyer in ensuring that the defendant’s 4th Amendment rights are not violated.

Get Your Free Book on DUI in South Carolina Now!

If you've been arrested for DUI, then you may be worried about what to do next. Our FREE eBook will help!

DUI in South Carolina - Piecing It All Together

This FREE book for drivers has practical information on South Carolina’s laws and effective defense strategies including the laws of DUI & DUAC, the legal procedures, implied consent hearings, field sobriety tests, the DMT DataMaster breath test machine, the penalties & costs for a DUI, how to be an effective witness, and much more.


Charleston DUI Attorneys

If you are charged with DUI in Charleston, contact the attorneys at Futeral & Nelson.

Contact Us Now!

Need a DUI defense lawyer in Charleston?

Call Futeral & Nelson, LLC today for a FREE consultation. 843-284-5500.
Contact Us Now!