The state’s DUI law could include increased use of a device that measures the sobriety of a driver if they want to start or drive their car. Ignition interlock devices are used today in DUI sentencing, but the changed law would offer the device as an option to long-term license suspension and would allow certain drivers to get back on the road sooner, with the device installed. One issue addressed is that some DUI offenders must drive in their jobs. It also sets a longer license suspension time for not installing the device in their cars.
According to information from the SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon, the machine requires driver to blow air into the device before the vehicle is started and randomly while the vehicle is in motion. It tests the blood alcohol concentration and will not allow the car to start if the driver has been drinking. According to an official with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, many of the devices include cameras that will take a random snapshot of the driver to ensure someone else is not taking the breath test instead.
Lawmakers tweaked the bill in Senate subcommittee on Wednesday and it will be on the full Judiciary Committee agenda on Tuesday.
AUDIO: Subcommittee discussion of bill, beginning with an amendment by Sen. Ronnie Cromer (21:00)