The State. com reported in September 2018 that a South Carolina Law (called Emma’s Law) that was meant to help force DUI offenders to prove sobriety before they could drive has not worked as planned. The law requires that anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level was .15 or more, should have to use an ignition interlock device, or IID.
The IID analyzes the driver’s BAC and prevents the car from starting if the BAC reading is .02 or more. In South Carolina, Maryland and all states, any driver whose BAC is .08 or higher can be charged with driving under the influence. (Technically, you can be charged even if you blow less than a .08.)
As it turns out, however, the law is not doing what it was intended to do. Critics claim the law isn’t working to save lives for many reasons, including the following:
- The .15 limit is nearly twice the legal limit of .08. Thus, the law is letting many drivers with alcohol issues operate a car without using the IID.
- The IID is only an option for first-time offenders.
- The IID requirement requires a conviction.
- Drivers can avoid the IID test by refusing to provide a breath sample. Drivers in South Carolina who refuse a breath test can obtain a temporary alcohol license that doesn’t require an IID until there’s a formal decision on the charges.
Maryland’s IID requirements and laws
In Maryland, drivers with an ignition interlock whose BAC is more than .025 cannot start their cars. (It is one of the few similarities we have to Emma’s Law.) The test is used before the driver starts driving and at different times during operation.
However, we have a few different options when it comes to IIDs. For example, you can request an IID in lieu of losing your license. If you are a first-time offender who has blown between a .08 and a .14, you may be eligible for a “work permit” license, too.
The MVA Administration Adjudication Division can refer a driver for an IID for several reasons, including accumulating too many points, being a repeat offender, violation of previous alcohol-driving restrictions, or a test failure or refusal suspension. Pursuant to Noah’s Law, effective October 1, 2016, drivers can also be required to use an IID for:
- Any DUI conviction
- A DUI while transporting someone under 16-years-old
- “Driving while intoxicated with an initial breathalyzer test refusal”
- “Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DUI or DWI.”
There are numerous challenges that can be made DUI charges. At Carey Law Office, we have 37 years of experience challenging the basis for being stopped, the validity of any tests, and in presenting other defenses. We have offices in Bowie and Crofton. Our lawyers serve anyone charged with a DUI or an IID requirement in Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and the surrounding areas. Please call [tel] or fill out the contact form to speak with a caring lawyer. We’ll get you through this difficult time.