COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? Councilwoman Tameika Issac Devine introduced a Columbia City Council Resolution in support of Emmaâ??s Law, which would require people convicted of DUI to have an ignition interlock deviceâ??a mini Breathalyzer that measureâ??s a personâ??s blood alcohol contentâ??installed in their cars.
The law is named after six-year-old Emma Longstreet, who was killed by a drunk driver.
Emmaâ??s Law, will expand the use of interlocks for certain first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .12 or higher to use an ignition interlock on their vehicle for at least six months.
In a statement issued by Devine, she talks of the loss of three-year-old Josiah Jenkins, the grand-nephew of Columbia Fire Chief, Aubrey Jenkins, who was killed by a drunk driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 60% and 80% of drivers with suspended licenses continue to drive. 14% of all intoxicated drivers in fatal crashes have a current suspended or revoked license. 358 people were killed by a drunk driver in 2012 in South Carolina.
â??I strongly encourage the South Carolina General Assembly to come together for a cause that should never be partisan and pass Emmaâ??s Law.â?? The statement read. â??I will continue to work with Mayor Steve Benjamin and my colleagues in city and state government in a coordinated effort to provide a stronger deterrent for people driving while intoxicated.â??
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which was founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, will testify in support of Emmaâ??s Law on Thursday, March 20.
â??MADD asks the lawmakers to honor Emma Longstreet, and all victims of drunk driving, and advance this critical legislation. Interlocked offenders simply cannot drive drunk and hurt or kill innocent people in South Carolina.â?? Said MADD South Carolina Vice-President of Public Policy Laura Hudson.
For more information on interlocks, please visit http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/ignition-interlocks/. For information on interlock laws, please visit: http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/ignition-interlocks/status-of-state-ignition.html