Requirements and Implications of Ignition Interlock Devices

Ignition interlock devices, or IIDs, are breathalyzers connected to a vehicle’s ignition. Before the vehicle starts, the driver must provide a breath sample with an alcohol concentration below a pre-set limit. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle won’t start.

If you were required to install an IID, here’s everything you need to know about the process and why it’s a good idea to hire an Orangeburg DUI attorney if facing drunk driving charges.

When Are IIDs Required?

In South Carolina, ignition interlock devices are required for certain DUI offenses. If you’re convicted of a first-offense DUI with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, or if it’s your second DUI conviction within 5 years, you’ll need an IID installed in your vehicle to get your license reinstated.

For a first-offense DUI with a BAC below 0.15%, an IID is discretionary, meaning the court can order you to install one as a condition of license reinstatement if they see fit. Either way, once the court orders an IID, you must have it installed before you can drive again.

Unfortunately, ignition interlock devices don’t come cheap. You can expect to pay between $70 to $150 for installation and then monthly fees of $50 to $100 to keep it calibrated and monitored. The total cost will depend on the level of service and the specific device chosen.

South Carolina IID Program Laws and Regulations

South Carolina has some of the strictest ignition interlock device (IID) laws in the country. As part of their IID program, SC requires all drivers convicted of a first drunk driving offense to install an IID for six months. For repeat offenders, the IID requirement increases to two years.

To have an IID installed, you’ll need to visit an approved vendor in SC. They will install the device, train you on its proper use, and report your compliance to the DMV. You must blow into the device to start your vehicle, and random re-tests while driving are required.

In SC, you are responsible for all costs associated with your IID, including installation ($75-$150), monthly monitoring fees ($50-$100/month), and removal ($50-$75) once your period has been served. The total cost for a six-month IID can be $500-$1,000 or more.

DUI offenders may be obliged to install an IID

Length of IID Requirement for DUI Offenses

For a first DUI offense in South Carolina, an ignition interlock device or IID will be required in your vehicle for 6 months. The court will require the installation of the IID as a condition of having your driver’s license reinstated after a suspension period.

A second DUI offense within 10 years will require an IID for 2 years. The suspension period for your driver’s license will also be longer before the IID can be installed and your driving privileges reinstated.

For a third DUI offense or more within 10 years, an IID will be mandated for 2 to 5 years at the court’s discretion. The suspension period for your license, in this case, can last up to 10 years.

IID Violations and Penalties

In South Carolina, any violation of the IID requirements will result in serious penalties. If your IID detects an attempt to start the vehicle with alcohol in your system, it will log a “violation.” The IID will also record a violation if you fail to provide a retest when prompted or if you tamper with the device.

For a first violation, your license suspension period will be extended by 2 months. You will also have to pay a $50 fee to have the IID recalibrated. A second violation within 5 years will extend your suspension by an additional 4 months and require IID use for an extra year.

Three or more violations may lead to an additional 8 months without a license and 2 more years with an IID. If, at any point, the IID detects an alcohol concentration of 0.05% or higher, it will not allow the vehicle to start. This is considered an “attempted circumvention” and will be reported to the DMV.

Reach Out to an Experienced South Carolina DUI Lawyer

Going through a DUI arrest in South Carolina can be an extremely stressful and traumatic experience. The implications are severe, and the legal process is complicated, including the installation of an ignition interlock device if you have been ordered to do so.

Don’t go through this alone. Seeking counsel from a knowledgeable DUI attorney is critical. The team at Orangeburg DUI Guy will provide you with the advice and defense you need to move past this challenging situation. Call us today at (803) 353-1969 for a free case review, and let us help put this behind you.