Emma's Law passes major hurdle
Thu, 20 Mar 2014 22:19:50 GMT — Columbia (WACH) -- "I had to do what no parent ever has to do or ever wants to do. I had to bury my 6 and a half year old daughter." says David Longstreet.
A father is fighting for change, getting over a major hurdle Thursday.
Since a drunk driving crash killed his daughter Emma in January 2012, David Longstreet has been lobbying state lawmakers to toughen South Carolina DUI laws.
"I heard him tell the judge that day that if he would've had an interlocking device in his car, that he wouldn't have been able to start his car." says Longstreet, talking about Billy Hutto, the drunk driver who caused the crash that killed his daughter.
"I'm sworn to protect people. That's my job. But i felt so helpless that i couldn't do a thing for Josiah." says Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.
Columbia fire chief Aubrey Jenkins joining the battle for stricter DUI penalties after his grandnephew Josiah was killed earlier this month in a crash with a multiple time DUI offender.
While Emma's Law is one step closer to being passed, one state lawmaker would like to see even stiffer penalties for anyone arrested on DUI charges.
"My goal is to modify behavior. It is not simply to have a bill up here that's going to get people once they're convicted. I want people to, once they're charged, be on an interlocking device." says Representative Todd Rutherford.
"This bill will save lives, it could've saved my daughter Emma."
It's a bill David Longstreet hopes will prevent another parent from walking in his shoes.