COLUMBIA (WACH)â?? A signing ceremony was held today for Emmaâ??s Law, a law requiring more people convicted of driving under the influence to install a device that won't let their vehicles start if the drivers have been drinking.
The law was approved by Governor Haley on April 14.
â??This is a bill that should be important to every parent in South Carolina,â?? said Gov. Nikki Haley. â??Weâ??re here today to do one of the most important things we can do â?? to protect our children. After a long fight by all of the people with us today, we can finally say that the bill has passed and the roads in South Carolina are safer because of it.â??
Emmaâ??s Law is named after Emma Longstreet, a six-year-old Lexington girl who was killed by Billy Hutto, a repeat DUI offender on New Yearâ??s Day in 2012.
â??The passage of this bill ensures that Emmaâ??s name will live on forever and it puts South Carolina in a position of national leadership in DUI enforcement,â?? said David Longstreet, father of Emma Longstreet. â??I want to thank MADD, Governor Haley, and all of South Carolina for supporting us throughout this process.â??
During the ceremony, the parents of Emma Longstreet were seen holding back tears as Gov. Haley talked about the law.
"I traveled around the state and people shared their pain, with that pain I was more encouraged." said Emma's father, David Longstreet.
Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins and Josiah's mother are also in support of Emma's law, after 3-year-old Josiah was killed in a car accident involving a drunk-driver. "It's a long road to recovery, but this is a great day in our state." said Chief Jenkins.
â??On behalf of MADD, I would like to thank Governor Haley and the full legislature as this bill will help end the toll of drunk driving on South Carolinaâ??s roads,â?? said Debbie Weir, CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. â??This has been a tough fight and one that honors all the victims of drunk driving and it will keep the memory of Emma Longstreet alive in each of us."