Drunk driving is a problem all across the nation. When it comes to drinking and driving deaths, no state is 100% safe. That said, as is true of any list, there are states that must rank at the top. Unfortunately, South Carolina is one of the worst when it comes to drunk driving. Ranked third in the nation, the state has remained near the top of the list for several years.
What the Statistics Say
According to 2012 statistics, South Carolina sees just over seven deaths for every 100,000 residents. In 2012, the state saw the loss of nearly 360 of its citizens to drunk driving accidents. Many of these deaths involved minors. Just a year later, the number of fatalities had more than doubled.
To try to combat the plague of drunk driving, South Carolina’s officials created the ignition interlock program. Anyone caught and convicted of drinking and driving must have an ignition interlock device installed on their car if their blood alcohol content reached .15 or greater. The idea was introduced in 2007 but gained strength in 2014 with the passage of Emma’s Law.
Not only do those convicted have to ignition interlock devices installed, but those devices must contain cameras. Anyone who tampers with such a device is subject to even harsher penalties than they originally faced.
In May 2015, a new amendment was introduced to strengthen the law further. There are penalties for several more offenses today than there have been in the past. If a device is tampered with, if a third party blows into the device or if the camera is obscured, the driver or any offending parties can be prosecuted.
Any person who was required to install a device in their vehicle after October 1, 2014 must complete the program prior to getting their license back. Those who don’t enroll in the program as ordered will have their license suspended indefinitely.
If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina, please call our offices as soon as possible. We will review the details of your case at no charge to you and advise you as to your next steps. Call now or browse our website at your convenience.