As a DUI defense attorney in North Charleston, South Carolina, I deal with cases involving the interlock ignition device. South Carolina‘s interlock ignition device statute is found at S.C. Code section 56-5-2941. With its amendment, the statute now includes first offenders who have a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, those who violate South Carolina’s implied consent laws, or others who are convicted of either felony DUI or child endangerment. Drivers who have violated DUI laws of other states are also required to use the BAIID device so long as there is a BAIID requirement in that other state.

What’s an interlock ignition device?

A BAIID is an electronic device that’s installed in a motor vehicle. It measures a driver’s blood alcohol content before the driver can start the vehicle. The driver is required to blow into it. If the driver’s blood alcohol content is .02 or higher, the BAIID won’t allow the vehicle to start. The required South Carolina device even takes the driver’s picture to verify that the proper person is behind the wheel before attempting to start the vehicle.

What if I refuse blood alcohol testing in South Carolina?

Should a driver suspected of DUI refuse blood alcohol testing, either a license suspension will occur, or a BAIID device will be required. If the driver opts for the BAIID device, it will be required for:

  • Six months for a first offense
  • Nine months for a second offense
  • 12 months for a third offense
  • 15 months for a fourth offense

All subsequent offenses are considered if they’re based on convictions entered within the last 10 years.

What happens if I submit to alcohol testing in SC?

If a driver submits to blood alcohol testing, and his or her blood alcohol level is .15 or above, the penalties are:

  • On a first offense, a suspension of one month or use of a BAIID device for three months
  • For a second offense, a three month suspension or use of a BAIID device for three months
  • For a third offense, a three month suspension or use of a BAIID device for three months
  • For a fourth offense, a four month suspension or use of a BAIID device for four months

If a person is convicted of a DUI, the length of time that a BAIID device is required to be affixed to their vehicle after a suspension is:

  • Six months for a first offense
  • Two years for a second offense
  • Three years for a third offense

If a third offense occurred within five years from the date of the first offense, four years of BAIID use is required. For a fourth or subsequent offense, a BAIID device is required for life. Should an offender elect not to enroll in the BAIID program, his or her license can be suspended indefinitely.

What happens if somebody tampers with a BAIID?

BAIID device users are required to have their devices inspected and the data from them downloaded at least every 60 days at a service center of their BAIID supplier. It’s against the law for a user to tamper with a BAIID’s operation or to obscure the camera lens of the device. Of course, it’s also against the law for users to have somebody else blow into the device for them.

Penalties for BAIID violations in South Carolina

If BAIID violations are discovered, points are assessed against the driver. If two or more points are assessed, the period of time that the driver must use the BAIID is extended. Progressively severe penalties are assessed for points accrued. You’ll pay for installation, inspection and removal of your BAIID. It’s another cost added on to the already high price of getting a DUI.