A change in South Carolina law imposes an additional penalty on some first-time offenders convicted of DUI charges.
“Emma’s Law,” which went into effect in October, extends the use of ignition interlock devices to individuals who have had a single conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15 percent or more. Previously, the ignition interlock penalty was reserved for those with multiple DUI convictions.
When an interlock device is attached to a car, the driver must breathe into the machine before the car will start. If the device records a BAC of 0.02 percent or more, the vehicle will not start.
Under the new law, anyone convicted for the first time of DUI with a BAC over 0.15 must use the device for six months. Offenders convicted for a second time must use it for two years.
Those assigned the device must pay installation costs plus about $130 per month to have it in their car, according to a WSPA TV report.
The law is named for Emma Longstreet, who was killed by a drunken driver as her family went to church on New Year’s Day in 2012.
This is an important change for anyone facing the potential of a first DUI conviction with a high BAC reading. It represents an additional cost of about $780 (on top of a fine of $500, or $1,000 if your BAC tops 0.16 percent) as well as a fine if you continue to drink.
Anyone facing a DUI charge should contact a criminal law attorney for legal representation. If you were arrested in the Florence, South Carolina area, we urge you to contact a criminal defense attorney from the Jebaily Law Firm today.
Jebaily Law Firm, is one of South Carolina’s long-established and well-respected legal practices. Located in Florence, S.C., we are trial lawyers focused on plaintiff litigation in personal injury, workers’ compensation, social security disability, and criminal defense. Established in 1969, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience in protecting the rights of clients and advocating for the safety and well-being of South Carolina citizens.