Every state in the country has strong laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and South Carolina is no exception. Just like every other state in the nation, South Carolina also has specific parameters where individuals the courts convict of driving drunk must install ignition interlock devices (IID) in their vehicles.
According to the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services of South Carolina, the government made South Carolina’s IID laws stricter with the 2014 passage of Emma’s Law, and amendments the General Assembly added in 2015.
When South Carolina passed Emma’s Law in 2014, IID laws became much stricter. For example, under Emma’s Law, a DUI first offender with a breath alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or greater must install an IID in vehicles they operate. Additionally, the IID must have an operable camera, and the option of non-participation in the IID program no longer exists. Emma’s Law also made the penalties for operating a vehicle without an IID much more harsh.
The amendments passed by the General Assembly in 2015 made the IID laws even stronger. It is now possible for the government to penalize drivers who try to tamper with the IID in their vehicles in any fashion. This includes trying to cover or obscure the lens of the camera attached to the IID.
The amendments also made it a crime to allow third parties not operating the car to blow into the IID in order to either start the vehicle or allow its continued operation. The penalties for driving drunk in South Carolina are strict, and the state is working to make them stricter.