Posted by the Charleston DUI Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Our Charleston DUI Defense Attorneys help those charged with DUI and DUAC in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville and across the South Carolina lowcountry. If you are charged with DUI, our DUI Defense Lawyers will discuss your case with you free of charge.
A DUI bill that supporters say would save lives is being debated in the South Carolina Senate. The DUI bill would require drivers convicted of first-offense driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 or above to install ignition interlocks on their cars. Current SC DUI law requires ignition interlocks for drivers upon a second or subsequent DUI conviction. The proposed DUI law changes target what are being called "high-BAC" drunk drivers.
Ignition interlocks are small devices installed on cars that require the driver to blow into them before starting the car. If the device detects alcohol of 0.02 or more, the car will not start.
The DUI bill is on what's called "interrupted debate" in the Senate. Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Hartsville, is holding the floor and is against the bill, worried about details like whether DUI offenders will just drive their spouses' or friends' cars to get around the interlocks. Currently, seventeen states require ignition interlocks for all those convicted of DUI. Supporters say such a DUI law in South Carolina could result in a 35-50% reduction in alcohol-related fatalities.
If you are arrested for first-offense DUI, what would this new DUI law mean for you? Well, if you choose to take the breath test, and the Datamaster DMT (the breath testing machine) registers a 0.12 or more, you would be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle if convicted of the charge. All costs associated with the ignition interlock are paid by the offender. Those charged with first-offense DUI who blow less than 0.12, or refuse the breath test, would not be subject to the new regulation.