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What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

You may have heard of an ignition interlock device, but unless you are required to use one, you may be unaware of what it is or how it works. If you have been convicted of a DUI in the Palmetto State, you will likely need to install one on your vehicle.

Our DUI defense lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina, would like to provide an overview of the ignition interlock device program and the circumstances in which you will most likely need to use the device.

Overview of Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device, or IID, is used to prevent an individual from driving inebriated. The device is comparable to a breathalyzer and hooks into your vehicle’s ignition. In order to start the engine, the driver will need to breathe into the IID. If there is a blood alcohol reading of 0.02% or higher when you breathe into the IID, the car will not start.

Who is Required to Install an Ignition Interlock Device?

Under South Carolina law, most first-offenders will not be required to install an IID unless their blood alcohol level is 0.15% or higher. Second time and subsequent offenders are required to install an IID to reinstate driving privileges, as well as those motorists who refuse testing.

Under the same law, a person can be exempt from the ignition interlock device requirement if a medical condition prevents him or her from using it properly. In this case, the individual’s license would be suspended for the amount of time that the person would have been required to use the IID.

Ignition Interlock Device Program

The Ignition Interlock Device program is overseen by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services. You will be able to install an IID at the end of your license suspension period. When installing the device, you will be able to drive with a restricted license. As the name implies, you will only be able to drive to work, your kids to school, and to any court-ordered drug treatment programs.

If you are required to install an IID in your vehicle, you will likely need to pay an installation fee (which can be anywhere between $125-$1,000), a state fee (South Carolina charges users $30 per month), and a fee to lease the device ($83.99 per month). These fees add up quickly, causing financial strain. Even if you are only required to use the IID for six months, you will still be paying between $800-$1,600.

The state imposes heavy fines for those who try to cover the camera lens, tamper with the device, or get a friend to breathe into the machine.

DUI Defense Lawyers in Greenville, SC, Advocating for You

A DUI conviction can strip you of your freedom. Our legal team understands how overwhelming it can feel to be arrested for a DUI. If you need legal assistance, contact Ryan Beasley Law today by completing our online intake form or by phone. We offer free, confidential consultations.