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.