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An ignition interlock device helps you get behind the wheel again

Losing your license is one of the more frustrating complications of any conviction related to impaired driving. Completely losing your license can be a major headache that causes a broad range of issues.

Friends and family members may begin avoiding you because they get sick of giving you rides. Your work could suffer as well, as relying on others or public transportation to get to your place of employment could mean chronic tardiness or absenteeism. Having a license means having freedom.

Even if there are limitations on freedom, it is better to have some ability to transport yourself to the places you need to be. Anyone recently accused or convicted of impaired driving charges will want to familiarize themselves with South Carolina's ignition interlock program.

What is an ignition interlock program?

South Carolina wants to prevent people with a history of driving under the influence from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated again. Mandatory license suspensions are one way that the state deters people from driving while impaired. The state has also expanded its ignition interlock device (IID) program.

Many people view an IID as a punishment and a source of embarrassment. An IID checks your blood alcohol content (BAC) before allowing your vehicle to start. You perform a breath test, which the IID logs. Provided that you pass the test, the vehicle starts. This program used to be optional, but it is now mandatory for anyone who loses their license due to impaired driving.

The IID program aims to keep you sober at the wheel

When you join the IID program, you receive a limited license. You can only drive a vehicle with an IID installed. Other limitations often include limiting where you can drive or the time of day when you can be on the road.

Participating in the IID program lets you get behind the wheel and begin the process of regaining your license. People have, unfortunately, found ways to try to trick these devices. A popular workaround was once to have a friend or co-worker blow into the device on your behalf.

The modern systems used in South Carolina contain cameras to prevent drivers from having someone else perform the test. Anyone accused of having a very high BAC or repeat DUI offenses will likely have to install an IID to regain their driving privileges.

Although IIDs cost money, they offer multiple benefits

While it is true that those who plead guilty or get convicted of impaired driving charges have to pay out-of-pocket for the installation and maintenance of an IID, that cost is reasonable when you consider the benefits of the installation of such a device in your vehicle.

Provided that you comply with the terms of the program and only attempt to drive the vehicle while sober, your routine use of the device will demonstrate that you remain committed to safe driving practices. You can also obtain a restricted license at a time when you may otherwise not have been able to drive. Finally, you can eventually trade in your IID and restricted license for full driving privileges again.

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Moncks Corner, SC 29461

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