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South Carolina legislators rewarded for harsh DUI initiatives


As previous posts in this blog have discussed, there are certain legislative measures that have been pushed to pass this year. Many of these measures concern the consequences that individuals face after they are charged with a DUI. Two of these initiatives -- Emma's Law and a bill known as H. 3191 -- have earned their advocates accolades from the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD.

Emma's Law suggests an additional requirement for drivers believed to have a blood alcohol content of .12 percent or more. That requirement would mean the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. The bill known as H. 3191 would penalize drivers accused of operating a moped while under the influence of alcohol.

Each year, MADD chooses annual legislative champions for each state based on the amount of work they have put into helping MADD advance its mission throughout the course of the year. This year's legislative champions for South Carolina have recently been announced. MADD's legislative champions for South Carolina in 2013 were chosen for their "tireless work and commitment to advancing MADD's mission in [the state] by promoting effective DUI countermeasures" such as those that would be required if these bills are passed into legislation.

It is important for residents of South Carolina to remain informed about the ever-changing laws regarding DUI charges. The potential consequences for drinking and driving are already severe; some may question the effectiveness of ever-increasing legal penalties in making South Carolina's roads any safer. In fact, in a climate influenced by high-level advocacy like this, overzealous police and prosecutors may wind up charging innocent drivers based on faulty blood alcohol content test results or even field sobriety tests, which can be highly subjective.

Although it is important to stay informed about changing legislation, no one expects to find themselves suddenly facing serious criminal charges like these. Therefore, it is always a good idea for those who have been charged with a DUI make sure they understand their legal rights from the beginning of a criminal case.

Source: The State, "STATE HOUSE: MADD names SC legislative champions," Andrew Shain, Nov. 19, 2013

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