Originally created 12/28/06

Devices not used in South Carolina



COLUMBIA - South Carolina is behind most of the country when it comes to using devices that can keep convicted drunken drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

The state doesn't use an ignition lock that requires convicted drunken drivers on probation to blow into a small alcohol sensor on the dashboard before the car will start. Forty-four other states have laws allowing or requiring the devices, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

South Carolina also doesn't use a bracelet that can be attached to the ankle to measure blood-alcohol content through perspiration. The manufacturer of the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor - or SCRAM - said 40 states require some drunken driving offenders on probation to wear them 24 hours a day.

"If they're not drinking, they're not drinking and driving," said Will Sagar, the president of Carolina Monitoring.

State law doesn't allow the bracelet to be used.

The ignition locks have been legal in South Carolina since 2000, but the State Law Enforcement Division has not developed regulations for them because the agency has not received enough of its share of fine money over the past several years to develop a program, SLED Chief Robert Stewart said.