What Are Ignition Interlock Devices and When Are They Required in South Carolina?

If you’ve never heard of an ignition interlock device before, we don’t blame you. After all, you don’t come across one every day – hopefully not!

Ignition interlock devices are installed in the vehicles of those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) to prevent them from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

How does an ignition interlock device work, and when are you required to have one? Read on to find out!

If you’re facing DUI trouble, don’t delay contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney in Spartanburg, South Carolina from the Bateman Law Firm for legal consultation and defense.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, is a small breathalyzer fitted into a car. Before starting the car, the driver blows into the gadget. If the IID detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car won’t start.

After a DUI conviction, South Carolina courts normally require IID installation in the convicted individual’s car. Generally, IIDs are required in certain states for all DUI offenders, while others just mandate it for repeat offenders or those with high blood alcohol levels (the latter being the case with South Carolina).

Drivers who carry IIDs are naturally less likely to get another DUI.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

An ignition interlock device works pretty much the same way as a regular breathalyzer. The driver blows into the gadget – the device will store the breath sample and then assess the alcohol concentration in it.

Based on this data, the breathalyzer will give an estimate of the blood alcohol concentration; if there’s a measurable concentration of alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car won’t start.

Certain ignition interlock systems require the driver to periodically breathe into the device. If the gadget detects alcohol (while driving), it will alert the user. The mechanism may also switch off the engine if the driver appears to be intoxicated.

Who Is Required to Have an Ignition Interlock Device in Their Car?

If you are convicted of a DUI in Spartanburg, you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. IIDs are intended to prevent drivers from driving while under the influence of alcohol.

You must first finish a DUI education program and pay all related expenses before you may receive an IID. After that, you may make an appointment with a licensed IID provider to have the device put in your vehicle.

IIDs must be used for at least six months, but they can be required for up to three years for repeat offenders. Further fines will be imposed if you are discovered driving without an IID or attempting to tamper with the device.

When Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina requires an ignition interlock device installed when a person is convicted of drunk driving.

There is evidence that IIDs are useful in lowering drunk driving rates.

According to a research effort conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IIDs led to a 67% reduction in DUI convictions among first-time offenders and a 36% reduction among repeat offenders.

ignition interlock device.

In South Carolina, ignition interlock devices are mandated for certain DUI offenders as a condition of getting their driver’s license reinstated.

Specifically, IIDs are mandated for:

  • DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Second-time or subsequent DUI offenders
  • Offenders who refused to take a breathalyzer test.

How Long Does a Driver Have to Use an Ignition Interlock Device?

The time that the IID must be installed varies based on the offense and the number of prior DUI convictions. For example, a first-time DUI offender with a BAC of 0.15% or higher must have an IID installed for at least six months, while a third-time DUI offender must have an IID installed for at least four years.

Are There Any Exceptions to Having to Use an Ignition Interlock Device?

Even for DUI offenders who are required to use an IID, South Carolina allows for certain limited exceptions to the obligation of installing an ignition interlock device (IID). The following exclusions are stated in the state’s DUI laws.

Employer Vehicles

If the DUI offender is obliged to drive an employer’s car as part of their work, and the employer has been told of the IID requirement, IID installation may not be required.

Medical Necessity

If a DUI offender is unable to use an IID due to a medical condition, they may be entitled to seek an exemption from the requirement. A medical statement from a licensed physician or other healthcare practitioner is required for this exemption.

Economic Hardship

A DUI offender may be eligible to request a waiver of the IID requirement if they can show that installation and maintaining the device will cause them undue financial hardship.

It should be noted that these exclusions are restricted, and the state uses ignition interlock device installation as a measure for combating drunk driving. If you have been ordered to use an IID, you should check with a DUI attorney to see whether any of these exceptions apply to your case.

A Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Spartanburg, South Carolina Can Help You

If you have been mandated to use an ignition interlock device, the best DUI lawyer in Spartanburg, South Carolina from the Bateman Law Firm can help in several ways.

Advising You on IID Requirements

Your attorney can help you understand the requirements of using an IID in South Carolina, including how to obtain and maintain the device, and what to do if you experience any issues.

Requesting an Exemption From IID Requirements

If you are unable to install or maintain an IID due to medical or financial reasons, your DUI lawyer help you seek an exemption from the requirement.

Challenging IID Findings

If you’re using an IID and have been barred from using your car even if you weren’t drunk (due to a defective device, improper calibration, etc.), your DUI lawyer can help. They can challenge any questionable results that may result in a violation or an extension of the IID requirement.

Representing You in Court

If you are facing a DUI accusation, your lawyer will defend you in court and negotiate with the prosecution to seek lower charges, alternative punishment, or dismissal of the case.

Giving You the Help You Need to Avoid Severe DUI Repercussions

A DUI conviction in South Carolina can result in substantial consequences such as license suspension, fines, and possibly jail time. The best DUI lawyer in Spartanburg, South Carolina from the Bateman Law Firm can help you understand the possible consequences and develop a strategy to minimize their influence on your life.

Our legal team will be of great help in dealing with IID requirements and the larger legal consequences of a DUI conviction. Reach out to us now for a solid legal defense against DUI charges and to defend your legal rights!

The Bateman Law Firm 5 stars - based on 364 reviews
The Bateman Law Firm