On April 30, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley performed a ceremonial signing of Emma's Law – the first drunk driving bill the state has passed in years. The law's passage comes about a month after a House subcommittee approved a stripped down version of Emma's Law. The ceremony drew more than 100 politicians, activists, and victims in celebration of the law's passage.
The bill was named for Emma Longstreet, the six-year-old girl who lost her life to a drunk driver in 2012. The driver responsible for her death was a repeat DUI offender.
Lobbyists faced an uphill battle trying to get lawmakers to vote for the bill. The signing ceremony was a chance for them to celebrate their accomplishments. Lobbyists included the director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Highway Patrol commander, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
What will Emma's Law accomplish?
In many states, it can be incredibly difficult for a DUI offender to get back on the road, but up until Emma's Law was passed, drunk drivers in South Carolina could use different types of appeals and other delays to continue driving.
Emma's Law accomplishes many things, but one of its key provisions is an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement. Any driver that pleads guilty or is convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol content of .15 percent or higher, even on a first time offense, will be required to install an IID.
- First offense .15 % or higher – IID for six months
- Second offense .08 % or higher – IID for two years
IIDs are new to South Carolina, but they are already used as a DUI penalty in 35 states. Studies show that these devices help reduce drunk driving accident fatalities, especially those caused by repeat offenders.
Help for Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is thrilled with the passage of Emma's Law. Our firm believes in tough penalties for DUI offenders and preventative measures to protect people from these avoidable accidents. If you or someone you love is a drunk driving accident victim, contact our firm today. Our attorneys can help fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at 888-612-7001 for a free evaluation of your case.