SC Senate Passes 'Emma's Law'

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Senate unanimously passed "Emma's Law" Wednesday, a bill that would put new restrictions on convicted drunk drivers.

The final vote was 40-0.

Last week the South Carolina House of Representatives approved the measure. The bill now heads to Governor Nikki Haley for her approval.

The bill requires an interlock ignition in cars of drivers convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher. A driver who has the device must blow into it before driving, and if the system detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

A first-time offender would be required to have the lock for six months, a second offense would require the device for two years, while a third conviction would mean having the lock for four years.

The bill is named after Emma Longstreet, a Lexington girl killed by a repeated drunk driving offender in 2012. Her mother and father have worked for months asking for lawmakers to approve this bill.

The measure also got support in recent weeks from the family of 3-year-old Josiah Jenkins, who died last month from injuries sustained in a crash in Richland County. The suspect in that case has been charged with felony DUI, and had four previous convictions on DUI charges.

After Wednesday's vote, senators gave the families of Longstreet and Jenkins a standing ovation.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment