Ignition Interlock Devices
South Carolina Ignition Interlock Device Requirements
An Ignition Interlock Device, otherwise known as an IID, is a small device used to prevent a vehicle from starting if it registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the device's pre-set limit. The IID is installed inside the vehicle near the driver's seat, and it is connected to the engine's ignition system. To start the vehicle, the driver must blow air into the device before the vehicle can start. The driver is also required to blow into the device randomly while they are driving. If the driver's BAC is above the pre-set level, then the vehicle will not start. If the BAC of the driver is above the pre-set level while they are driving, then some sort of an alarm will go off depending on which device was installed.
On January 1, 2008, the Prevention of Underage Drinking and Access to Alcohol Act was put into effect. The ACT implemented the IID program and designated the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS) as the agency in charge of administering the program. The SCDPPS works in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) and with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) to develop a program that aims at reducing drunk driving.
The Effect of Emma's Law on DUI Offenders
On April 30, 2014, South Carolina's governor officially passed Emma's Law, a piece of legislature which drastically impacts the lives of convicted DUI offenders. Emma's Law was created in honor of a young girl who was killed by a drunk driver in 2012.
Essentially, the law magnifies the punishment for all convicted drunk drivers. Emma's Law enforces the following penalties in the state of South Carolina:
- All DUI offenders: Any driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher must install an IID on any vehicle they drive for six months.
- First-time offenders: First-time offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 can choose to use an IID to drive with no geographic restrictions instead of a license suspension.
- Repeat offenders: If a drunk driver is convicted a second or subsequent time with a BAC of .08 and above, they must install an IID to drive.
These restrictions imposed by Emma's Law only increase the severity of a DUI conviction. It is important to take action right away if you have been arrested for driving under the influence, as the consequences can haunt you for a lifetime. Fortunately, our firm can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be required to install an IID on my work vehicle?
The good news is no; you will not have to.
I share a vehicle with my spouse; will they have to blow into the IID?
Yes, they will.
I own/use several vehicles in my household; do I have to install one on
You are required to install an IID on all vehicles that you drive at home.
What if my spouse is on the registration and not me?
You are still required to install an IID on all vehicles you drive for personal use, regardless of who it's registered to.
Will the IID turn off the vehicle while I'm still driving?
No, the IID is not designed to shut off the vehicle; it only prevents it from turning on initially.
Here to Help You Defend Your Rights
Anyone who is convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense in South Carolina is required to install an IID. The driver is responsible for paying all the costs associated with the IID, and these include the installation and the monthly maintenance fee; the fees are based on the vendor's pricing schedule. In South Carolina, the approved vendors are Smart Start, LifeSafer Interlock, and Guardian Interlock. The IID program is considered a voluntary program; therefore, if you choose not to enroll, then your driving privileges will remain suspended for three years beyond your initial suspension period.