South Carolina is taking stricter measures to combat drunk driving, potentially creating a larger number of drivers who will have to use ignition interlock devices. These devices are breath-analysis systems integrated into a vehicle’s electrical system to prevent individuals under the influence from starting the car until they pass a breath test with a blood-alcohol level below 0.02%.
Here are the key points:
- Expansion of the Program: South Carolina recently updated its laws, requiring anyone convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% to install an ignition interlock device. This represents a significant expansion from the previous requirement, which applied to those with a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or repeat offenders.
- Expected Increase in Participants: It is anticipated that the number of participants in the ignition interlock program will more than double when these changes go into effect in May 2024, as reported by Annita Dantzler, the public information officer for the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.
- Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock Devices: According to Dantzler, these devices have already prevented thousands of engine starts with blood alcohol levels at or above 0.08% in 2022.
- High Incident Rate of Drunk Driving: Despite ongoing efforts, South Carolina has one of the highest rates of DUI-related fatalities in the United States. State Senator Brad Hutto points to limited public transit options and a lack of ridesharing services in rural areas as contributing factors. Many individuals who are arrested for DUI may not fully realize their level of impairment.
- Sentencing for DUI Offenders: The penalties for drunk driving in South Carolina have faced criticism for being lenient, with some individuals receiving what is perceived as light sentences for causing fatalities in DUI-related accidents.
While South Carolina is taking steps to address drunk driving, including the broader use of ignition interlock devices, the issue remains a significant concern, with efforts to increase awareness and improve the legal framework for addressing it.
Ignition Interlock Devices in Mississippi
In Mississippi, the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) can be required in the following situations:
- Conviction for DUI: If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Mississippi, the court may order you to have an IID installed in your vehicle. The specific circumstances and duration of IID requirements may vary depending on your DUI offense history.
- Refusing a Chemical Test: If you refuse to submit to a chemical test (such as a breathalyzer or blood test) when you are lawfully arrested for DUI in Mississippi, your driver’s license can be suspended, and you may be required to install an IID as a condition for reinstating your driving privileges.
- Multiple DUI Offenses: If you have multiple DUI convictions or offenses on your record, the court may order the installation of an IID as a condition of probation or as part of your sentencing.
It’s important to note that the specific requirements and conditions for IID installation may vary depending on the circumstances of your case, the court’s discretion, and any changes in Mississippi’s DUI laws. If you are facing a DUI charge or have questions about IID requirements in Mississippi, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in DUI defense for the most up-to-date information.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney
Should you be charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you need a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you find yourself in this situation, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. No matter the circumstances of your case, the sooner you get in touch with a qualified criminal defense attorney, the better chance you have for a favorable outcome. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants who have been charged with DUIs. Please call us for a free consultation today, and we can help you defend yourself when you are arrested and charged with a crime in Mississippi.