Emma’s Law in South Carolina: Stronger Punishment for DUI Offenders

DUI Interlock Device

By: Robert F. Goings

On April 9, 2014, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a state law, referred to as “Emma’s Law,” to create more protection against driving under the influence.  This law is aimed at providing tougher punishment for intoxicated drivers to current South Carolina DUI laws.  While there are several facets of this new law, one of the major changes is the implementation of a statewide Ignition Interlock program.  This law relies on technology to punish, deter, and prevent drunk driving.

Here are some frequently asked questions you may have about Emma’s Law:

What are the effects of Emma’s Law? 

  • First time DUI offenders with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or greater are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for six months.
  • Second time DUI offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for two years.
  • If a person has two or more DUI convictions and refuses to put an ignition interlock device in his car, then he must turn over the license plates and registration to all vehicles registered to that person.
  • Persons under 21 who refuse a breathalyzer will have their license suspended for six months. If the person under 21 has a previous DUI conviction in the past 3 years, then the suspension for refusing a breathalyzer is one year.

What is an ignition interlock device? 

  • An ignition interlock device is a device installed into a car ignition system that does not allow the car to start if the driver has had any alcohol to drink.
  • When installed, the driver of a car must blow into a breathalyzer every time before starting the car.
  • If the driver has any alcohol in his system, then the car will not start.

Why is the law called “Emma’s Law”?

  • The law is named for Emma Longstreet, a six-year-old girl from Lexington, S.C., who tragically lost her life in an auto-accident caused by a repeat DUI offender.
  • Emma’s parents were instrumental in gathering support for and pushing the bill through the legislature.

When does the law take effect?

  • Gov. Nikki Haley has signed the law, and it will go into effect on October 1, 2014.

Are there potential concerns surrounding interlock devices?

  • Improper calibration of the device
  • Defective installation
  • The interlock device improperly shutting off vehicle.

Contact the Goings Law Firm, LLC for Drunk Driver Accidents in South Carolina

The Goings Law Firm, LLC fully supports any efforts to reduce motor vehicle accidents caused by the recklessness of a drunk or impaired driver.  We hope that Emma’s Law will help to decrease the amount of DUI related accidents that happen on the roadways.  Personal injury attorney help to deter DUI and alcohol related accidents but seeking punitive damages for the victims of these unfortunate accidents.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, please contact the us today by calling (803) 350-9230.

What Clients are saying

100 stars! Mr. Goings and his staff did an amazing job in handling my case! They were with me every step of the way and made sure my case was handled with my best interest at heart! The process could not have been any easier. I am forever grateful to Mr. Goings and his team. South Carolina’s best attorney!

- Tiffany AL

Robert is the best attorney ever… you need legal representation. .. he is the one to go to.

- Jason D

After representing me after I fell down the stairs at work and injured my back, I would recommend the Goings Law Firm to handle any personal injury matter. Robert and Jessica made me feel like my case mattered to them and that my goals were their goals. They were tireless advocates for me yet they were also willing to be upfront and honest in their assessments of my options going forward. I never felt pressured to choose one course of action over the other. They treated my case like their own.

- Anonymous

Mr. Goings is an outstanding attorney. Dealing with a personal injury case can be frustrating and quite stressful. Mr. Goings and his office took care of my case with the upmost compassion and professionalism. They treated me like family. Mr. Goings is hard-working and determined to fight for his clients’ rights. I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a personal injury attorney.

- Anonymous

When I looked for an attorney for my bad car accident, I read the reviews for the Goings Law Firm. This firm had great reviews so I contacted them. Thankfully, Mr. Goings took my case and fully explained the process to me and he took the worry out of my mind. Before hiring him, I tried to settle my case with the insurance company on my own, but I was low balled- Mr. Goings and his office got me a lot more than I ever imagined. A big thanks to his office!

- Anonymous

The Goings Law Firm went above and beyond assisting me after a serious auto accident. Robert Goings and Katie Gould were thorough and kind explaining every step of the process to me, sometimes more than once. Robert was persistent and professional making sure that we received the highest allowable compensation from all parties. I could not have been more pleased with the overall outcome.

- Car Accident Client

It has been a great experience having you represent my family as Our Attorney. I have learned a lot, and have come to understand the importance of good counsel. You and your team are the best. You guys are officially our family Law Firm. Thanks Robert.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for Robert Goings, and his amazingly talented team at Goings Law Firm, LLC. Mr. Goings was always genuinely concerned about my health, and overall well-being, was instrumental in recommending the best medical treatment plan for my injury, and most importantly, he treated me as if I were family. Mr. Goings was extremely attentive to every detail regarding my case, and he executed professional results and recovery, well beyond my greatest expectation.

- Slip and Fall Client

Robert Goings was my lawyer when I was in a terrible car accident caused by a drunk driver. I would not be where I am today without Robert and his staff. He worked very hard for me and was with me from the beginning to the end. He stuck to his word and got me the compensation that I deserved. I really appreciate what Robert and his office has done for me.

- Personal Injury Client

Mr. Goings worked tirelessly to resolve my husband’s case, despite the fact my husband wasn’t always the best client, and we still ended up with the best possible outcome because, in my opinion, we had the best attorney. Robert Goings is a professional, caring, experienced attorney with an amazing paralegal, Katie, and a wonderful support staff. If you need legal representation, The Goings Law Firm is the only call you need to make.

- Personal Injury Client

Mr. Goings stood up for my Constitutional Rights. He is a not your typical lawyer and you can trust him like a friend. His staff is very friendly, accommodating, and helpful throughout the entire process.

- Anonymous

Mr. Goings welcomed me in as family, he kept in contact with me about my case all the way to the end.. He works very hard to get justice.. Him and his team is very polite and hard workers.. He deserve more then 5 stars if I had to do it all over again he would be the call.. If anyone is looking for a personal injury lawyer he would be the right person to call don’t hesitate to call.. I thank him and his staff so much for everything they have done for me.

- Personal Injury Client

Hands down one of the BEST attorneys in the state!! Robert Goings exceeded all of my expectations. He welcomed me and my daughter with open arms and he kept me informed every step of the way. I knew exactly what was going on in my case and I really like that about him. His entire staff was awesome and I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a personal injury attorney. I guarantee you, you will be very pleased with Mr. Goings. Honestly, he definitely deserves more than 5 stars!!

- Personal Injury Client

After being rear ended in a car accident, I needed help navigating the insurance settlement. Having never needed the services of an attorney, I was very anxious about the whole process. Robert Goings & his staff were excellent to work with; at no point did I question my decision or feel that we would achieve anything less than the best possible settlement. I would never hesitate to recommend him to family, friends or strangers!

- Car Accident Client

Goings Law Firm was very helpful and patient with me. Goings Law Firm educated me about the legal side of things and help me understand my case. I would recommend Goings Law Firm to anyone.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Mr. Goings was caring and professional during a very difficult time in my life. I was faced with the sudden loss of my mother in a car accident, and Robert took the time to talk to me and check up on me throughout the duration of the case. I applaud his sensitivity and willingness to go the extra mile. I would recommend his firm to anyone that wants the best legal representation in South Carolina!

- Personal Injury Client

Robert and his staff have gone above and beyond, they are absolutely amazing at what they do. I would definitely call his office again if the need should arise.

- Workers’ Comp Client

I highly recommend Robert Goings! He is absolutely incredible!!! I had suffered from a dog bite injury and Robert went above and beyond to have me taken care of. He is extremely personable, I never felt like a “client”. He and his staff treated me as well as my family with genuine kindness. I am blessed to have had him take such great care of me and my case.

- Dog Bite Client

He was very kind and knowledgeable. He gave me status updates in a timely matter. I was VERY pleased.

- Personal Injury Client