South Carolina DUI Law Update: Emma’s Law

Posted by the Charleston, SC DUI Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Our Charleston DUI Defense Attorneys help drivers charged with DUI, DUAC and other traffic violations in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville and across the South Carolina lowcountry. Our attorneys will discuss your DUI arrest free of charge.

Earlier this month, the South Carolina General Assembly passed and Gov. Nikki Haley signed "Emma's Law," a DUI law that brings big changes to South Carolina's drinking and driving (DUI) statutes.  The bill is named after Emma Longstreet, a child who was killed by a drunk driver with previous DUI convictions.

Under current DUI law, South Carolina drivers convicted of a second DUI charge must have what is known as an "ignition interlock device" installed in their vehicles.  An ignition interlock is a breath testing device that requires a breath test reading of less than 0.02 before it will allow a vehicle to start. Emma's Law expands the ignition interlock requirement for certain first-offense DUI convictions.  

If you are convicted of a first-offense DUI and refuse the breath test, your license will be suspended for six months, during which time you can drive using an Ignition Interlock Device Restricted License if you have the device installed in your car.  However, if you do not want the device installed you can "wait out" the suspension and get your regular license back after six months.

If you are convicted of a first offense DUI and blew a 0.15 or higher, again your license will be suspended for six months, and you can drive using an Ignition Interlock Device Restricted License described above.  However, you cannot just wait out the six month license suspension and get your regular license back.  You have to have the interlock device installed for six months before you can ever drive legally in South Carolina again. 

If you are convicted of a DUI and blow under 0.15, your license will be suspended for six months, but you will not have to have the interlock device installed.  The Provisional License is still availble to those who qualify during the six month suspension. 

The new DUI law affects those charged with DUI on or after October 1, 2014.

Charleston, SC DUI Attorneys

The Charleston DUI Defense Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC help drivers arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and DUAC in CharlestonNorth CharlestonMt. PleasantSummervilleGoose Creek, Hanahan, Moncks Corner, Ladson, James Island, West Ashley, Folly Beach, Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms, Awendaw, McClellanville and the surrounding areas.

Full Text of the new DUI law: Bill S.137, South Carolina General Assembly

Share with Friends