Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense that can lead to devastating consequences. In South Carolina, if you’ve been convicted of DUI, you may be required to enroll in the Ignition Interlock Program. This program aims to reduce drunk driving incidents by installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which requires a breathalyzer test before starting the engine.
But what exactly does this program entail? Who is eligible for it and how long do they have to comply with it? In this article, we’ll answer those questions and more so that you can better understand what’s involved in the Ignition Interlock Program in South Carolina. Any Orangeburg DUI attorney at our firm has helped many clients navigate this process and today we will share our insights with you today!
Who Is Eligible for the Ignition Interlock Program in South Carolina
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in South Carolina, you may be eligible for the Ignition Interlock Program. This program requires you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that requires a breathalyzer test before starting the engine.
To be considered for this program, your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest must have been 0.15 or higher, or you must have refused a chemical test altogether. You also need to meet certain other requirements such as having valid insurance and a driver’s license.
It’s important to note that participation in the Ignition Interlock Program is mandatory if ordered by the court after being convicted of DUI. However, there are some exceptions like commercial drivers who operate vehicles outside work hours or those with medical conditions preventing them from blowing into an IID.
In any case, it’s always best to consult with an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney if you’re unsure about whether or not you’re eligible for this program. They can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout it all!
How Long Do I Have to Keep the Ignition Interlock Device?
If you are convicted of a DUI in South Carolina, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This device is designed to prevent impaired driving by requiring the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the car.
But how long do you have to keep the IID installed? The length of time can vary depending on several factors, including whether this was your first or subsequent DUI offense.
For first-time offenders, the court may require that they keep the IID installed for a minimum of six months. However, if there were aggravating circumstances involved in their case, such as causing an accident or having a high blood alcohol concentration level at the time of arrest, then they might have to use it for up to two years.
If this is not your first DUI offense and you are required to participate in South Carolina’s Ignition Interlock Program again, then you must install and maintain an IID for at least two years from when your license suspension period ends.
What Are the Penalties for Violating the Ignition Interlock Program?
Once enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Program in South Carolina, it is crucial that you comply with all of its requirements. Failure to do so can result in serious penalties that would defeat its purpose.
If you violate the program by attempting to disable or tamper with the device, driving without the device, or failing a breath test while operating your vehicle, your license will be suspended for at least six months. Additionally, you may face fines and even jail time.
Repeat offenders who violate the program again within five years may have their license revoked permanently.
It’s important to understand that violating the Ignition Interlock Program is taken very seriously in South Carolina. If you have any questions about what constitutes a violation or how best to comply with its requirements, it’s always best to consult with an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney.
Can I Drive a Company Car?
If you are enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Program in South Carolina, you may be wondering if you can drive a company car. The answer is not straightforward and depends on various factors.
Firstly, it’s essential to understand that the ignition interlock device is designed to prevent you from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Therefore, any vehicle that requires an ignition system is subject to having an interlock device installed.
If your job requires a company car as part of your employment contract, then driving a company car will depend on your employer’s policy. Some companies may allow employees who have an ignition interlock device installed to operate their vehicles while others may prohibit it altogether.
However, suppose your employer allows you to drive a company car with an ignition interlock device installed. In that case, it’s crucial that they provide written consent allowing for the installation and use of the device in their vehicle. This must be presented at the time of installation before starting any work-related trips.
Can I Drive a Motorcycle while Enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Program?
Many clients who are ready to enter the Ignition Interlock Program ask their Orangeburg DUI lawyer this question: can I still ride my motorcycle while enrolled in the program?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. According to South Carolina law, individuals who are enrolled in the Ignition Interlock Program are only permitted to operate vehicles that are equipped with an ignition interlock device. Right now, there is no such device available for motorcycles.
As a result, you can’t ride your motorcycle until the restriction period ends.
It’s important to note that attempting to bypass your restriction by riding a motorcycle without an ignition interlock device can lead to serious consequences. Violating the terms of your Ignition Interlock Program could result in additional fines and penalties as well as extended restrictions on your driver’s license.
How Much Does the Ignition Interlock Device Cost?
You must remember that you are fully liable to pay all costs associated with the ignition interlock device:
Typically, the installation cost varies between $70 and $150, while the other ongoing costs add up to $80 per month.
Let an Experienced Orangeburg DUI Attorney Help You Navigate the Ignition Interlock Program
Whether voluntary or as part of a court decision, entering the Ignition Interlock Program in South Carolina will force you to change your driving habits and comply with a long list of rules. Breaking any of these rules can result in severe penalties. Thus, you should always consult with an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney before entering the program.
We have extensive experience working with clients in the same position as you and will offer you valuable guidance to help you follow the rules until your license is fully reinstated.
We offer each new client a free case review, so you can understand your legal rights and obligations. Call us today at 803-353-1969!