Key Facts About Ignition Interlock Devices in Columbia, SC

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program operates in South Carolina and requires many drunk driving offenders to have a special device installed in their cars after being convicted of a DUI offense. The program is a very strict one, and DUI defendants need to be aware of what ignition interlock devices are, how they work, and when the use of the devices is going to be required.   

For many DUI defendants, there is no way to opt out of the use of an ignition interlock device in circumstances where an IID would be required, so you should make certain you understand what your requirements are.  Avoiding conviction could be the only option to avoid having to use this device, which makes developing an effective legal strategy especially vital when responding to DUI charges.

Some of the key things you need to know about ignition interlock devices in South Carolina include the following:

  • A 2007 law called The Prevention of Underage Drinking and Access to Alcohol Act established protocols for the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Service to administer an ignition interlock program. The Department explains the program and its requirements on the DPPPS website.
  • In addition to ignition interlock requirements for repeat offenders, some first time offenders also must complete the Ignition Interlock Device program. If you have a BAC of .15 or higher, you must complete the program.
  • A camera IID is required to be installed in your vehicle if you are mandated to use an ignition interlock device.
  • There is NO option to opt out of the IID program. You must complete the program prior to getting a non-restrictive driver's license.
  • There are very stiff penalties for anyone who drives a vehicle without an Ignition Interlock Device when such a device is required.  After a 2015 amendment to the law, drivers also face very harsh penalties for tampering with the ignition interlock device to prevent normal operation, including covering or obscuring the lens of the camera.
  • Those who are participating in the Ignition Interlock Device program must have their device inspected and must have the device data downloaded by service center providers at last once every 60 days. Those who are participating in the program are responsible for covering all of the costs.

These requirements are very stringent and participation in the Ignition Interlock Device program can have a profound impact on your finances and your life. If you are accused of driving drunk with a prior conviction or with a BAC of .15 or greater, you should be aware you will likely need to have an IID installed in your vehicle if you are found guilty. Work with an attorney as soon as you can to try to avoid being convicted so you can avoid the undesirable consequences associated with the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device in your car.

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