“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

April 2018

  • State v. S.P.H.

    • Charge: DUI 1st
    • Court: Oconee County Summary Court
    • Facts: Client parked and approached in a parking lot
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. J.L.R.

    • Charge: DUI and Leaving the Scene
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client involved in a hit-and-run and returned to the scene
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client fines dismissed with community service hours
  • State v. E.L.R.

    • Charge: DUI, Open Container, Child Endangerment
    • Court: Pickens County Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client was pulled over for not using a turn signal
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives DUAC .08 and court fees
  • State v. A.P.M.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client pulled over for disregarding traffic signal
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client paid fine and ticket rewritten for Reckless Driving
  • State v. J.D.H.

    • Charge: DUI >.015
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client pulled over for swerving into other lane repeatedly
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives DUAC .08 and court fees
  • State v. T.W.M.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Clemson University Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client parked on sidewalk, police stopped to investigate
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Charged with Improper Passing and a fine
  • State v. P.F.D.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Police responded to single car collision of car leaving road
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v D.J.S.

    • Charge: DUI
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client pulled over for speeding
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. A.L.W.

    • Charge: DUI 1st
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client pulled over for swerving lanes
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives ticket for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. R.S.E.

    • Charge: DUI 1st, Suspended License Plate, DUS
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client pulled for having only one working Head Lamp
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client receives DUAC .08%
  • State v. J.L.B.

    • Charge: DUI, Open Container, Speeding, Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client was pulled over for excessive speeding
    • Result: DUI, Open Container, and speeding dismissed; Client paid fine and ticket rewritten for Reckless Driving
  • State v. N.A.H..

    • Charge: DUI 1st and Open Container
    • Court: Clemson Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client stopped during a road checkpoint
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client paid fine and ticket rewritten for driving Too Fast for Conditions
  • State v. T.V.M.

    • Charge: DUI 2nd, Open Container, Possession of Controlled Substance
    • Court: Travelers Rest Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client pulled over for swerving into other lane repeatedly
    • Result: DUI 2nd reduced to DUI 1st, other charges dismissed
  • State v. C.C.G.

    • Charge: DUI 1st and Child Endangerment
    • Court: Pickens County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client involved in collision
    • Result: Charges dismissed; Client receives ticket for “DUAC .08%”
  • State v. R.J.K.

    • Charge: DUI 1st
    • Court: Mauldin Municipal Court
    • Facts: Client pulled for having only one working Head Lamp
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client received “Negligent Operation” with fines and community service
  • State v. C.W.R.

    • Charge: DUI 1st
    • Court: Greenville County Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client ran off the road
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client paid fine and ticket rewritten for “Reckless Driving”
  • State v. T.D.V.

    • Charge: DUI 1st
    • Court: Clemson University
    • Facts: Client on a Moped pulled over for running a Stop Sign
    • Result: DUI dismissed, Client charged with Improper Lane Change
  • State v. D.W.D.

    • Charge: DUI 1st
    • Court: Laurens Magistrate Court
    • Facts: Client ran off the road into a pond
    • Result: DUI dismissed; Client paid fine and ticket rewritten for “Reckless Driving”

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