Information on Ignition Interlock Device Laws in The Palmetto State of SC
Myrtle Beach, Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Spartanburg, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, and all other cities in the state of South Carolina have the same DUI and SC Ignition Interlock laws governing drinking and driving offense charges. Those drivers found to be operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). For drivers who are then convicted of this crime, they face a number of penalties, which in the state of South Carolina include jail time, fines, a license suspension, and having to get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on any car a person will drive. This also will include any company car or work vehicle a person uses for employment.
Almost every state across the country uses a 0.08 percent BAC as the grounds for charging drivers with drinking and driving related crimes. This is due to research that determined most individuals are too impaired to drive when their BAC reaches 0.05 percent and all drivers are too impaired to drive when their BAC reaches 0.08 percent. Additionally, the state of South Carolina charges minors (under 21) with DUI if their BAC is 0.02 percent, and commercial drivers can also be charged with DUI should their BAC reach 0.04 percent. In order for a person to have the best chance of success in avoiding the Ignition Interlock requirement or having a SC driver’s license get suspended, a driver needs to have their arrest details examined online with us as soon as possible following getting charged. This is because is the proper DUI defense strategies can be established early on in a case, it can help maximize the chances of success in preventing a conviction, which would otherwise result in heavy costs and consequences.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in South Carolina?
As outlined above with some of the new SC laws, there are a number of penalties DUI offenders face should they be convicted, which also will include the installation of the Ignition Interlock device for even a 1st DUI offense in most cases. Generally, this variety of penalties is a means to discourage individuals from drinking and driving again as well as a way to make an example for others. First time offenders of this crime, or those with no previous DUI convictions, likely face the following:
- 48 Hours to 90 Days in Jail
- Monetary Fines Between $400 and $1,000
- Having to Install an Ignition Interlock Device on Any Car Driven
- SC Driver’s License Suspension Period of Six Months
Repeat or 2nd DUI offense drivers in the state of South Carolina will face harsher penalties than first-time offenders. Second offense DUI offenders are individuals with previous DUI convictions on their record within the last 10 years. Second time offenders of this crime, or those with one previous DUI conviction in the last 10 years, likely face the following:
- Five Days to Three Years in Jail
- Monetary Fines Between $2,100 and $6,500
- Driver’s License Suspension Period of One Year
- A DUI Interlock is Required for at Least 1 Year For SC Driver’s License Reinstatement
Third time SC DUI offenders of this crime, or those with two previous DUI convictions in the last 10 years, likely face the following:
- 60 Days to Five Years in Jail
- Monetary Fines Between $3,800 to $10,000
- Driver’s License Suspension Period of Two Years
- Ignition Interlock Will Be Required for 2 Years On Average for SC Driver’s License Reinstatement
Fourth time offenders of this crime, or those with three previous DUI convictions in the last 10 years, likely face the following:
- One to Seven Years in Jail
- Monetary Fines Up to $10,000
- Permanent Driver’s License Suspension
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work Under The New Laws In SC?
The South Carolina Ignition Interlock device is a mechanism that works much in the same way as Breathalyzer devices, except it is installed in a DUI offender’s vehicle, usually in the dashboard area. Once this device has been installed, offenders need to blow into the device and provide a breath sample before they are able to start their vehicle. Should the sample be below the pre-programmed BAC threshold, the car starts normally. Should the sample be above the pre-programmed threshold, the Interlock device will prevent the car’s ignition from starting the engine.
Depending on how the device is programmed, it is possible for the device to require random resamples after the vehicle has already started. When prompted by the Interlock device, offenders need to provide an additional sample – should this sample be above the pre-programmed BAC threshold, the mechanism logs the event and an alarm sounds, indicating to drivers the vehicle needs to be pulled over and turned off – the Ignition Interlock device does not stop the vehicle automatically. This random re-testing is a means to prevent a third party from providing the initial breath sample into the car Breathalyzer device to start the vehicle.
When Is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of South Carolina?
The state of South Carolina has authorized the use of an IID for certain offenders convicted of a driving under the influence related crime or DUI arrests and offenses. Judges can authorize a driver having to get an Ignition Interlock installed as a condition of having an offender’s SC driver’s license reinstated in the following 4 types of common situations:
- First time DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more
- Second or subsequent DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more
- Second or subsequent DUI offenders for driver’s license reinstatement
- Any SC DUI offender with additional charge of felony DUI or child endangerment
How Much Money is it for Paying the Total Cost of the SC Ignition Interlock Device?
In the majority of South Carolina DUI cases where a judge authorizes the use of a car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device, offenders are responsible for paying all costs associated with the device, which often include leasing, installation, maintenance, and removal fees. Offenders should be prepared to pay around $100 to have the device installed in their vehicle as well as between $75 and $125 a month in lease payments. It is important to note, however, these are just rough cost estimates – some SC Interlock providers charge more or less depending on their business and geographical location, and some could offer free installation of the device.
What Is the Process of Having to Get and Install an Ignition Interlock Device in South Carolina?
In South Carolina once an Ignition Interlock is ordered for a DUI offense conviction or guilty plea, the convicted driver will be given a period of time in which they need to lease the device and have it installed and operational in their vehicle. First, offenders need to get in contact with a state approved DUI Interlock provider– these providers can be found all over South Carolina, and a full list of approved IID providers can be found on the South Carolina DMV website. It is important to lease the SC Interlock device from one of these approved providers in order to stay within the guidelines for using the device.
Once the device is leased from a SC state approved Interlock provider, DUI offenders will also need to ensure the IID is installed to the state’s standards – most state approved Ignition Interlock device providers are also approved to professionally install car Breathalyzer Interlock devices. After this is completed, it is not uncommon for offenders to have to report back to the court, the judge, their probation officer, and/or the DMV to note the process’s completion. In some cases, offenders need to provide a copy of the lease agreement and installation receipt. Once this is approved, an offender’s driver’s license suspension is lifted, and he or she is able to operate a vehicle using the IID. We realize why some of the first questions drivers arrested for DUI charges in SC have is “will I have to get an Ignition Interlock device put on my car, and how long is my license going to be suspended?” After a South Carolina Ignition Interlock lawyer reviews a person’s own arrest details online with us, they can then be able let a driver know of any defense solutions for how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:
[column col=”1/4″]Abbeville County
Hilton Head Island
Isle of Palms
Lake Murray of Richland
North Myrtle Beach
Sullivan s Island