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MADD pushes for South Carolina to pass ignition interlock requirement

South Carolina legislators continue to consider Emma's Law, which would require ignition interlock devices for first time DUI offenders in an effort to reduce DUI accidents.
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    February 28, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- MADD pushes for South Carolina to pass ignition interlock requirement

Article provided by McCutchen, Mumford, Vaught, O'Dea & Geddie, P.A.
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Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, is pushing for legislators in South Carolina to pass a law that would require first time driving under the influence (DUI) offenders to install an ignition interlock device. The law, called Emma's Law, was named after a six year-old girl who was killed in a drunk driving accident.

More on Emma's Law and ignition interlock devices in South Carolina

An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol monitoring device that is installed into the vehicle's ignition system. In order to start the car, the driver must provide a breath sample. If the sample falls within the accepted limits, the car will start. The device will not allow the vehicle to start if a sample is found positive for the presence of alcohol.

Ignition interlock devices are currently required in South Carolina for certain DUI offenses. Drivers convicted of a second DUI offense must install the device for two years and a third offense leads to a required three year installment period.

If passed, Emma's Law would expand these requirements to include some first time offenses. For example, first time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.12 or higher would be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to continue driving. MADD's National President argues use of the device would increase the safety of the state's roadways while continuing to allow convicted drunk driver's the opportunity to drive.

The law was introduced to the Senate in 2013. It was referred to the Committee on Judiciary on March 5 of 2013 and has remained with this committee for the past year.

Remedies available for victims of a DUI in South Carolina

Unfortunately, even if this law is passed accidents will happen. Those who chose to operate their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be held accountable for their actions. If their behavior leads to an accident that injures another, that victim may be eligible to receive compensation to help cover the high cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation as well as lost wages and, in some cases, punitive damages. Punitive damages are additional awards paid to the victim in an attempt to punish the driver for his or her wrongdoing.

If you or a loved one is injured by a drunk driver, contact an experienced South Carolina drunk driving accident attorney. This legal professional will be able to discuss your legal options and better ensure you receive the remedies you deserve.

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