South Carolina Drinking and Driving Laws: Emma’s Law

Emma’s Law has been getting a lot of publicity in South Carolina for the last couple of months and for good reason. Starting October 1, 2014 Driving Under the Influence is about to have a whole new meaning for convicted offenders in SC.

What is Emma’s Law in South Carolina?

“Emma’s Law” is named after six year old Emma Longstreet, a Lexington County girl who was tragically killed in early 2012 in a drunk driving accident. Billy Hutto Jr. had been drinking all night, ran a red light and slammed into the Longstreet’s van killing the little girl instantly. Hutto Jr., was convicted for Emma’s death, and is serving 9 years in prison.  He was a repeat DUI offender. This began the fight FOR stricter DUI laws in South Carolina.

Starting October 1st of this year under Emma’s law, first-time DUI offenders who have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher will be required, if convicted, to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for a period of 6 months. An ignition interlock device or IID is similar to a standard breathalyzer except it’s connected to your vehicle. Convicted DUI offenders will only be able to start their vehicle by blowing into the device, and having their breath analyzed. Too much alcohol means that vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Additionally, persons convicted of a 2nd DUI or DUAC will be required to install the device for a period of 2 years. As for a South Carolina resident convicted of a DUI in another state, the SC Department of Motor Vehicles will, and has a right to require the offender to have an IID installed.

So what if an offender decides not to enter the IID program?  Well that person’s vehicle or vehicles will be “immobilized,” meaning the person will have to turn over their license plates and registrations for all of their vehicles. Driving an immobilized vehicle, even while sober, may result in new charges and possibly additional punishments.

South Carolina Drinking and Driving Laws: Get Help Now

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI, DWI, or DUAC Schiller & Hamilton can help!