Ignition Interlock Devices

Beginning October 1, 2014, a person convicted of DUI or DUAC in South Carolina may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID). This is due to the passage of “Emma’s Law” last April. These devices can be costly to install. They can require monthly payments and have to be inspected every 60 days.

If possible, it is in the best interests of every driver to find another way to hold on to their driving privileges rather than deal with an IID. This is where the seasoned criminal defense team of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can help you.

If you have been charged with DUI or DUAC in Spartanburg, Greenville or elsewhere in Upstate South Carolina, we can review your case and work hard to protect your rights. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a mechanism created to stop a motor vehicle from being operated if the driver of that vehicle has consumed alcoholic beverages.

To use the device, the driver simply blows into it. If a blood alcohol content of .02 percent or higher is detected, the vehicle will not start.

Currently, there are three certified vendors of IIDs in South Carolina: Smart Start of South Carolina, LifeSafer Interlock (SC) LTD and Guardian Interlock.

Will You Need to Have an IID?

Depending on the circumstances of your case, the use of an IID may or may not be required if you are convicted of DUI or DUAC.

First, if a driver refuses to take a breath test and is convicted of DUI or DUAC, the driver will have his or her license suspended for six months. Rather than serving the full six-month suspension, the person could choose to enroll in the IID program.

A first-time offender who submits to a Breathalyzer may have his or her license suspended for six months if the BAC is less than .15. This suspension may be shortened by enrolling in the IID program. If the first-time offender registers a BAC of .15 or higher, an IID would be required.

Repeat offenders are also required to install IIDs. The length of time is determined by the number of times he or she is convicted of DUI or DUAC.

Use of IIDs is optional in the sense that a driver can choose not to have one installed. However, this will extend the suspension of his or her license indefinitely.

If a driver who is required to use an IID blows into the device and alcohol is detected, he or she will receive points under the Interlock Device Point System.

The number of points is determined by the concentration of alcohol. When an offender receives a total of two points but less than three, the length of time that the IID has to be used is increased by two months. With three but less than four points, the period is extended another four months, while four points or more would add six months to the suspension.

How Can Our Lawyers Help You When You Are Facing the IID Requirement?

If you have been found guilty of refusing a Breathalyzer test or have been convicted of DUI or DUAC in South Carolina and want to avoid the use of an IID, we can negotiate to have that requirement waived under the statute’s employment or medical exemptions.

In the event you are required to install an IID and receive interlock device points, we can help you to appeal the point assessments before an administrative hearing officer with the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Contact Our Upstate South Carolina Ignition Interlock Device Lawyers

Because the use of an IID is inconvenient and costly, it is critical that a DUI or DUAC charge be defended aggressively to avoid the burdensome requirement. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys at Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., is eager to assist you. Contact us today to learn more.