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Do you have to get an ignition interlock device for a first time South Carolina DUI?

Do you have to get an ignition interlock device for a first time South Carolina DUI?

Under Emma's Law some people convicted of a first time DUI in South Carolina may have to have an ignition interlock installed. This however is only for those who cooperated with the police breath test, and who tested at 0.15 or higher, or those who refused a breath or other test and were subsequently convicted.

A conviction only occurs when someone pleads guilty, no contest, or is found guilty of DUI with a 0.15 BAC or higher or a DUI marked as refusal. It is not the same thing as being arrested.

The ignition interlock requirement last for at least 6 months, and is administered by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole & Pardon. That program has a lot of legal technicalities and gets very tricky (not to mention it can be expensive and embarrassing to have one of these devices installed).

So how do you best avoid being required to install an ignition interlock device? Here are the following options:

  • Have your DUI charge completely dismissed
  • Be found not-guilty of DUI
  • Have your DUI charge reduced to a non-DUI plea bargain such as reckless driving
  • If you are charged with a 0.15+ DUI, have it reduced as part of a DUI plea bargain to a lower BAC level

For more information regarding South Carolina DUI topics please request our free report written by attorney James R. Snell, Jr.


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