State Ignition Interlock Bills Gain Momentum

State legislatures throughout the U.S. are hitting high gear heading into the spring. A number of lawmakers are considering bills that affect drunk driving. However, we’re especially pleased to see three state Ignition Interlock bills that are getting strong consideration.

Even if they don’t pass, they still are positive signs that many legislators are trying to address the threat of drunk and impaired driving. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of these and other bills throughout the year.

South Carolina: First-Offender State Ignition Interlock Bill

A state Ignition Interlock bill being considered in South Carolina would require any first-time DUI offender to have a device installed. The bill passed the state Senate in 2019, and is now being considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

According to The Post and Courier newspaper and website, the Senate bill would also require Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) for people who refuse to take a blood-alcohol test. Currently, their licenses are suspended but they can apply for temporary licenses.

Virginia Also Considers Ignition Interlock Devices for First Offenders

Virginia has traditionally had a restricted-license provision that allows drunk-driving offenders to continue driving to perform various tasks, such as going to and from work. That list has grown over the years to allow for 14 types of trips.

According to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and website, state legislators are exploring the possibility of a state bill that would make Ignition Interlock Devices mandatory for first offenders whose blood alcohol content is less than 0.15. An IID would be part of any restricted license requirement.

Maryland Pushes to Expand “Noah’s Law”

Two state Ignition Interlock bills are being considered by Maryland legislators. Both would expand on “Noah’s Law,” which currently requires Ignition Interlock Devices for all drunk-driving offenders.

The bills under consideration would extend the IID requirement to anyone who receives probation before judgment for a DUI. Drunk drivers would have to complete 180 days with an IID as a condition of probation.

If you or your clients would like more information about Ignition Interlock Devices, check out our FAQ page.