“Emma’s Law” (S.137) clears first hurdle and is unanimously voted out of the South Carolina House of Representative Criminal Law Subcommittee.

On March 20, 2014, a key subcommittee hearing related to the potential passage of South Carolina Senate Bill S.137 (a/k/a Emma’s Law) was held at the South Carolina Legislature. The hearing was well attended and many voices were present urging the subcommittee to pass “Emma’s Law.”  S.137 has been renamed “Emma’s Law” due to the tragic death of the child Emma Longstreet at the hands of a multiple and repeat drunk driving offender in Columbia last year.  Her unfortunate death has galvanized community support for the passage of S.137.  Debbie Ware, statewide chairman for MADD, emphasized that, according to several national studies, 67 percent of failed drunk driving collisions involve a repeat offender; and additionally, a repeat drunk driving offender is eight times more likely to be involved in a failed DUI accident than a driver with only one prior DUI conviction.  After hearing testimony from various citizens, the subcommittee voted 5-0 to send “Emma’s Law” onto the full House of Representatives Criminal Law Committee for its consideration.  Most observers believed that “Emma’s Law” will be fully endorsed by the South Carolina House of Representatives, the South Carolina Senate and will be signed into law by Governor Haley before the end of the 2014 session.

The major points which comprise” Emma’s Law” are as follows:

  1. Ignition Interlock Devices:

First offense convictions for drunk driving

An ID would be mandatory on all drivers convicted in criminal court of first offense DUI if they refused to provide a breath sample or registered .15 or higher on the breath test that was a part of their criminal conviction for drunk driving.

  1. 2. Repeat offenders: Repeat drunk driving/DUI offenders will now be able to drive as soon as they can successfully enroll in the IID program. The focus here is in allowing repeat DUI offenders to drive legally with successful enrollment and completion of the IID program.
  2. A 16 month lead time is envisioned between passage and implementation of “Emma’s Law” in order to give SC-DMV the necessary time to be able to fully implement “Emma’s Law” requirements.
  3. “Emma’s Law” will contain a much stiffer penalty than is currently on the books for driving under suspension and for driver’s caught driving without their required IID.

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Recent Results

June 2017

  • State v. H.D.J.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: McCormick Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was involved in a traffic collision
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. M.T.R.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for a traffic violation
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. S.L.C.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for swerving (Breath test: .20)
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. P.D.R.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Speeding”
  • State v. P.D.R.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped at a Traffic Safety Checkpoint
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. P.D.R.

    • Charge: DUI, Open Container
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for driving at an extremely low rate of speed
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client pays a fine for the “Open Container” ticket
  • State v. C.D.P.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was involved in a one-car accident
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. M.G.D.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding and making an improper turn
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. F.D.H.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped after striking a curb and a light pole
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. D.G.M.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for driving without headlights at night
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. M.M.W.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was involved in a two-vehicle collision
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. W.M.L.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was involved in a three-vehicle collision (Breath test: .14)
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. C.L.T.

    • Charge: DUI, Speeding (66/45)
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding, 66 mph in a 45 mph zone (Breath test: .15)
    • Result: DUI dismissed, Speeding dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. M.J.G.

    • Charge: DUI, Speeding (66/45)
    • Court: Fairview/Austin Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding, 55 mph in a 40 mph zone
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. W.J.A.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Pickens County Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for failing to stop at a Road Check (Breath test: .16)
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. R.H.S.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Fairview/Austin Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding (Breath test: .10)
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. V.R.M.

    • Charge: DUI, Endangering Service Personnel
    • Court: Chick Springs Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for driving 45 mph past a stopped police vehicle with its blue lights on
    • Result: DUI dismissed, Endangering Service Personnel dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Driving too fast for conditions”
  • State v. H.R.A.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Fairview/Austin Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for drifting over the lane dividing lines (Breath test: .18)
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Driving too fast for conditions”
  • State v. S.S.L.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives tickets for “Speeding” and “Driving too fast for conditions”
  • State v. B.R.E.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Fairview/Austin Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for a traffic violation
    • Result: DUI dismissed
  • State v. T.L.R.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was involved in a one-car accident (Breath test: .22)
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. K.M.M.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Fairview/Austin Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped after police received a tip about a reckless driver
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. H.S.B.

    • Charge: DUI, Speeding, Open Container
    • Court: Greer Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for speeding
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client pays a fine for “Speeding” and “Open Container” tickets
  • State v. R.E.K.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped for failing to stop at a red light
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. S.S.R.

    • Charge: DUI, Leaving the Scene with Personal Injuries
    • Court: Chick Springs Summary Court
    • Facts: Client was stopped after leaving the scene of a collision
    • Result: DUI dismissed, Leaving the Scene dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. M.R.S.

    • Charge: DUI 2nd offense
    • Court: Greenville Court of General Sessions
    • Facts: Client was involved in a two-vehicle collision
    • Result: DUI 2nd offense dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. R.J.L

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Laurens County Magistrate
    • Facts: Client was involved in a single car collision
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. M.S.M.

    • Charge: DUI, Simlile liossession of Marijuana
    • Court: Sliartanburg County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stolilied for slieeding
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. L.A.L.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Cherokee County Magistrate
    • Facts: Client was involved in a single car collision
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. L.R.A.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: liickens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was stolilied for slieeding
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Slieeding”
  • State v. D.E.C.

    • Charge: DUI 2nd
    • Court: City of Greenville
    • Facts: Client was involved two-vehicle collision
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives a ticket for “Reckless Driving”

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