If you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in South Carolina, you may need to install an ignition interlock device in your car. This type of device — which is the size of a cellphone — is wired into your car's ignition. To start your car, you will need to blow into a tube. The device then detects whether or not you have alcohol on your breath. If it detects alcohol, your car won't start.
The purpose of ignition interlock devices is to prevent repeat DUI offenders from driving while impaired by alcohol. Safety advocacy groups often hail these devices as a way to prevent DUI-related injuries and deaths.
South Carolina DUI defense lawyer Matt Bodman discusses what you can expect if you were already convicted of DUI. Should you be arrested and charged with DUI, consult with our law firm to discuss your next steps. Here's what you should know about ignition interlock devices.
When you need an ignition interlock device installed
In South Carolina, you may not be required to have an ignition interlock device installed for a first DUI offense. It's possible that the court may order it if you had a blood alcohol concentration of .15 percent or greater, however.
For a second DUI conviction, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car upon license reinstatement for two years. Moreover, it's three years for a third DUI conviction.
Common complications with ignition interlock devices and cars
Many people are under the impression that having an ignition interlock device installed in their cars is no big deal. But dealing with the complications can be very frustrating and even dangerous in some cases. The most common issues people experience with these devices include:
- Rolling retests. A rolling retest requires you to blow into the device after you have already begun driving. This causes a distraction for a lot of drivers and increases the risk of a car accident.
- Inaccurate alcohol detection. Sometimes these devices may detect alcohol on your breath if you used mouthwash or took medication that contained small amounts of alcohol. Pasta with vodka sauce, vanilla extract, red wine vinegar, rum cake and cough syrup also contain small amounts of alcohol.
- Unexplained errors. Like most technology, ignition interlock devices aren't foolproof. Sometimes these devices display error codes or abort breath tests for no apparent reason.
Fight your South Carolina DUI charge with an experienced defense lawyer
The consequences of a DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your life. You could face jail time, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and face a driver's license suspension or even permanent revocation. You could also have a difficult time finding and maintaining employment without the ability to drive and a DUI conviction on your record. If you're facing a DUI charge, it's critical that you speak to an experienced DUI defense lawyer in South Carolina who can devise a strong legal defense. Contact Matt Bodman, P.A. at our Columbia law office and set up your free legal consultation.