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South Carolina bill would expand ignition interlock requirement

At first, it may not be entirely apparent how many areas of life can be affected by a drunk driving conviction. Not only that, but law enforcement officials are typically pretty aggressive about pursuing prosecution. When all is said and done, being convicted for driving under the influence amounts to much more than just a simple traffic fine.

At this time, ignition interlocks are one of the consequences for a second DUI conviction in South Carolina. However, state lawmakers are considering expanding that requirement to some first-time offenses, which could change the landscape of DUI defense.

According to reports, the legislative proposal would create an interlock requirement for first-time offenders who have a blood-alcohol content measured at 0.12 percent or higher. The idea is that convicted individuals would have to agree to have the device installed on their vehicles in order to have their driver's licenses reinstated. Oftentimes, these licenses include restrictions, so people are only allowed to make critically important trips by vehicle.

If this new provision becomes law, there may be a lot more to consider when being charged with DUI. For those who have a blood-alcohol concentration that registers at or near the 0.12 percent threshold, scrutinizing the result of tests may become incredibly important.

The thing to understand here is that people who make one (potentially inadvertent) mistake could face an interlock requirement. This is especially pertinent considering the daily necessity some people have for driving a vehicle.

No matter how the legislation fares, South Carolina residents can benefit immensely from understanding the full reach of drunk driving penalties. Once individuals have an idea of what's at stake, they may also have a better idea of their legal options moving forward.

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