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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

South Carolina DUI Laws

South Carolina's new DUI laws came into effect February 10, 2009. Now motorists who drive while drunk will face higher fines, longer jail time, and mandatory counseling.

The new laws place tougher penalties on higher level of intoxication and the number of previous DUI offenses. So the higher your blood alcohol level the harsher the penalty. It is also seals-off legal loopholes that have previously allowed some drunk drivers to avoid conviction. For instance, if a suspect refuses to perform a breath-test, their license will be suspended for six months. For every subsequent offense the time increases. Furthermore, all offenders, even first-time offenders, must successfully complete an alcohol and drug treatment program.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) hope that the new laws will lower DUI-related deaths in the state. In 2008, 461 people died in DUI-related collisions. That's 50% of the 914 traffic collision fatalities that year. And the numbers are up. In 2007, DUI-related accidents cause 463 or 43% of the 1,077 motor vehicle fatalities.

To raise awareness about the new laws, SCDPS has launched a media campaign, which includes commercials, billboards, and electronic message boards. Police and Sheriff's Departments througout the state are setting up Public Safety Check Points to effectively inforce the new DUI laws and save lives.




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