An Ignition Interlock Device for Everyone?

A new DUI law in SC will require any person who is convicted of DUI or DUAC or who has an implied consent violation to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle before they can drive again.

The law has been signed by the governor but will not go into effect until May 19, 2024. Below, we will cover the basics of SC’s new DUI/ignition interlock device law, including:

  • What SC’s current law says about ignition interlock devices (IID),
  • When the new law will require an IID, and
  • Other changes to the IID program in SC’s new DUI law.

New DUI Laws in SC Will Require an Ignition Interlock Device for All DUI Convictions

The biggest changes in the new law are the requirements for ignition interlock devices for:

  • Anyone who is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (DUAC) – even for a first offense, and
  • Anyone with an implied consent suspension that is not overturned at their implied consent hearing.

Current DUI Law

Under SC’s old/current DUI laws, some people who are convicted of DUI or DUAC are required to install an ignition interlock device, while it is an option for others. It is not mandatory for those convicted of first-offense DUI or DUAC.

Similarly, for implied consent violations, it is mandatory for some drivers, and it is an option for other drivers, but it is not mandatory for the least severe offenses.

The New DUI Law in SC

Under the new ignition interlock device requirements, which do not go into effect until May of 2024, the ignition interlock device program will be mandatory for all DUI or DUAC convictions – even first offenses – and all implied consent violations.

New DUI Laws in SC Will Require an Ignition Interlock Device for All Implied Consent Suspensions

When a person is accused of driving under the influence but refuses the breathalyzer test, their license is suspended under SC’s implied consent laws. If the person takes the test and the result is .15 or greater, their license is still suspended.

The person can then request a DUI administrative hearing to attempt to get the suspension “rescinded” and get their license restored.

Under the new DUI law, every person who 1) doesn’t request an implied consent hearing or 2) loses their implied consent hearing must install an ignition interlock device and enroll in ADSAP before they can drive again.

When you request your implied consent hearing, you can still get a TAL (temporary alcohol license) that allows you to drive without restrictions (or an interlock device) until your hearing.

If you win your implied consent hearing, your full license is restored to you. If you lose your hearing, however, you will have 30 days to install an IID and enroll in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP).

Other Changes to the Ignition Interlock Device Program in SC’s New DUI Laws

The 2023 amendments to SC’s DUI laws include many other changes related to the ignition interlock device program, including:

  • “Zero tolerance” license suspensions for those under the age of 21 who drive with a BAC of .02 or greater can now enroll in the ignition interlock device program instead of waiting out the suspension,
  • Some habitual traffic offenders can regain their licenses by enrolling in the IID program,
  • Those with lifetime ignition interlock device requirements may be able to apply to have their device removed from their vehicle under certain conditions, and
  • Motorcycles and mopeds are exempt from the ignition interlock device requirements.

How Long is the Ignition Interlock Device Requirement if I’m Convicted of DUI or DUAC?

The length of time you must keep the device on your vehicle depends on the number of prior DUI convictions on your record within the last ten years:

  • First offense – six months,
  • Second offense – two years,
  • Third offense – three years (four years if the third offense was within five years of the date of the first offense), or
  • Fourth or subsequent offense – life.

How Can I Avoid the Ignition Interlock Device Requirement in SC?

The only way to avoid the ignition interlock device requirement in SC under the new law is to 1) not get convicted of DUI or DUAC and 2) not to have an implied consent violation.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI in Conway, SC, Horry County, SC, Myrtle Beach, or the surrounding area, call us immediately after your arrest.

Do not plead guilty to DUI, immediately request an implied consent hearing when appropriate, and immediately request a jury trial in the magistrate or municipal court when appropriate.

Your Conway DUI lawyer will:

  • Help you file your jury trial request and implied consent hearing request,
  • Review all evidence that the prosecutor intends to use against you including roadside videos and Datamaster room videos,
  • File discovery motions, supplemental discovery motions, and motions to compel discovery as needed to get all evidence including exculpatory evidence from the prosecutor,
  • Use subpoenas, FOIA requests, and investigators as needed to obtain evidence that may help in your defense,
  • Review all data from SLED’s Datamaster printout including information on the machine and officer,
  • Interview all potential sobriety witnesses,
  • Assist you in retaining expert witnesses for consultation or trial testimony when needed,
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor to avoid a DUI conviction whenever possible, and
  • Try your case to a jury when necessary.

Even in the worst of cases, there may be grounds to have your case dismissed or to suppress key evidence or statements, and your attorney may be able to get your case dismissed, negotiate a plea to a lesser offense that does not require an ignition interlock device, or win your case at trial.

DUI Lawyer in Conway, SC

If you have been charged with DUI or DUAC in Myrtle Beach, Conway, or anywhere in the Horry County area, you may have valid defenses to the charge or there may be grounds to get your case dismissed.

Contact DUI Defense Lawyer Johnny Gardner now at (843) 248-7135 for a free consultation to find out how we can help.