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South Carolina Enacts Stricter Ignition Interlock Law

The penalties for DUI crimes vary throughout the country, with many states requiring people found guilty of DUI crimes to install ignition interlock devices in their cars. Such penalties are usually reserved for people convicted of two or more DUI offenses or more serious crimes. In South Carolina, though, the legislature recently passed a law requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone found guilty of a DUI offense. While the law has no impact in other states, it could be a sign of changes to come throughout the country, including in Illinois. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated in Illinois, it is in your best interest to talk to an Illinois DUI defense attorney about your rights.

South Carolina’s Ignition Interlock Law

It is reported that South Carolina is set to enforce a tougher DUI law, marking the first major update in nearly ten years. Starting May 19th, anyone convicted of DUI will be required to use an ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects any measurable amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath. Previously, the use of ignition interlock devices in South Carolina was limited to individuals with multiple DUI convictions or those with a first conviction and a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) nearly twice the legal limit.

Reportedly, the new law expands this requirement to all first-time DUI offenders, aiming to prevent impaired driving and enhance road safety. Supporters believe this law will reduce drunk driving incidents and save lives. The law, which is an extension of Emma’s Law, named in memory of a young girl killed by a drunk driver in 2012, is expected to double the number of these devices installed in vehicles across the state.

Ignition Interlock Device Laws in Illinois

In certain Illinois DUI cases, the law compels the installation of ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders through the Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) program. This program is available to first-time DUI offenders, allowing them to seek an MDDP, which enables them to drive if they have an ignition interlock device installed in their car during their statutory summary suspension period. For these first-time offenders who wish to drive during their suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory.

The length of time an ignition interlock device must be used varies based on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of arrest. Offenders with a BAC of 0.15% or higher are required to use the device for six months. Those with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.14% need to use the device for one month.

People with multiple DUI convictions and those with previous statutory summary suspensions may have to use ignition interlock devices as a condition for obtaining a Restricted Driving Permit or to have their driving privileges fully reinstated. Failing to comply with the ignition interlock device requirement can lead to a suspended license, among other penalties.

Meet with a Trusted Illinois DUI Defense Lawyer

If you are faced with DUI charges, it is prudent to speak to a lawyer to determine your options. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a trusted DUI defense lawyer who can inform you of your rights and help you to seek a favorable result. You can contact Mr. Harvatin to arrange a meeting by calling 217.525.0520 or using the online form.

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