As DUI defense lawyers in Charleston, we keep an eye out for any changes in South Carolina’s legislation regarding DUI offenses. One recent change is referred to as “Emma’s Law.” This new law takes effect on October 1, 2014. The purpose of Emma’s Law, named for a girl who lost her life in a drunk driving car crash, is to stiffen the consequences of South Carolina’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws. The following are some of the significant changes resulting from Emma’s Law.
Ignition Interlock Device Program in South Carolina
Under Emma’s law, first-time DUI offenders who had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or greater will be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for 6 months. People convicted of a 2nd DUI or DUAC are required to install the device for 2 years. The amount of time required for the device can vary depending on various factors. In some situations where the Ignition Interlock Program is not mandatory, offenders may be able to shorten suspension times if they voluntarily enter the Ignition Interlock Program. If a South Carolina resident is convicted of a DUI-type offense in another state, the South Carolina DMV will require the resident to have an ignition interlock device as well. There is a complicated system in place regarding the monitoring of the ignition interlock and how violations of the program can result in additional suspensions and penalties.