South Carolina has strict penalties for anyone found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. The legal limit in South Carolina is .08 percent, although drivers with a lower BAC may still face penalties for reckless driving or similar moving violations. The penalties for DUI include fines, license suspension, and possible jail time. They increase for repeat offenders and may increase depending on the circumstances of the violation. In many cases, offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device in order to regain driving privileges.
South Carolina treats DUIs very seriously, and has administrative and financial penalties for offenders. The penalties may include a requirement to install an ignition interlock device. With an IID, offenders would have to test their breath alcohol content (BrAC) and pass before being allowed to start their vehicle.
If an offender has a fourth DUI, they may be facing a prison sentence of up to five years, and their license could be revoked permanently.
This is not a way to avoid penalties for a DUI. Offenders still risk having to pay fines and a license suspension if they refuse to take a breathalyzer or other BAC test.
Offenders in South Carolina may be able to regain driving privileges with a route-restricted license. This license allows them to drive to certain locations, such as work, school, doctor’s appointments, and other necessary places. In order to get this restricted license, offenders should:
The monitoring authority for limited license holders in South Carolina is the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV receives reports of all violations for all required interlock users in the state (voluntary users are not monitored). The IID must be installed by an approved provider like ADS because the monitoring authority works with providers to monitor offenders.
Ignition interlock devices, or car breathalyzers, are devices that, when installed in a DUI offender’s vehicle, prevent them from starting their vehicle with alcohol in their system.
These devices have been proven to prevent recidivism and help keep roads safe for everyone. They also allow DUI offenders to drive to necessary locations while their license is suspended.
South Carolina’s interlock policy is compliance-based. While the initial interlock term is set by statute, the term can increase if the offender has violations during the term. Their interlock testing results are monitored by the state monitoring authority, which can decide to increase the interlock term based on these violations.
Offenders are responsible for covering the cost of their device installation and the monthly lease. ADS offers affordable options, and allows offenders to pay monthly or bi-weekly. Devices cost between $2.50 and $3.50 per day. South Carolina state does offer financial assistance for qualified applicants. To see if they qualify, offenders must fill out the Affidavit of Indigency and may be required to reapply every 90 days. If you are unsure if you qualify, your attorney or state monitoring authority should be able to help you determine if you are eligible.
ADS has a variety of locations within our partner network in South Carolina. There are 48 installation locations throughout the state, and our representatives can help find one that is convenient for you. You will need to return on a regular basis for device calibration, so keep this in mind when choosing your service center. At your installation appointment, the technician will provide you with a certificate of installation and show you how your device works.