DUI and the Ignition Interlock Device

Ignition Interlock Device

In 2014 the South Carolina Legislature passed “Emma’s Law” which retooled many of the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws.  The largest overhaul dealt with the expansion of the use of the Ignition Interlock Device.  This can be good or bad for a person who is facing a DUI charge in South Carolina.

The negative aspects of the amendments now mandate the installation of the Ignition Interlock Device in certain types of DUI 1st Offense convictions.  The positive aspects of the amendments now allow persons convicted of multiple DUIs to utilize the Ignition Interlock Device, instead of losing their license for an extended period of time (years).

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device is a device that is installed in a person’s car that requires that person to provide a breath sample prior to starting the car and requires random tests while the car is being operated.

It’s a breath alcohol testing machine installed in a person’s car.

If a person’s breath alcohol is above a certain %, then the vehicle will not start.  There is also a point system for Ignition Interlock Device users, so any time a person blows into the machine and “fails”, i.e. they register an unacceptably high breath sample, that person is assessed points.  The accumulation of points may result in extending the time period that a person must have an Ignition Interlock Device installed on their vehicle, mandated alcohol classes, or loss of driving privileges.

The Ignition Interlock Device Program is administered by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.  A person who is required to have the device installed in their vehicle is responsible for the costs associated with the installation and regular maintenance of the machine.

For more information on the Ignition Interlock Device, or if you have a question about a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) case, please contact John D. Newkirk, Attorney at Law at (864) 467-3221

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