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Drunk driving victims, families support new DUI bills

In South Carolina, the victims of drunk driving accidents and their families are pushing the state legislature to enact stronger laws against drunk drivers. In both the South Carolina House and Senate, bills are under consideration that would implement ignition interlock systems on the cars of any person convicted of a DUI. While some may think that the action sounds drastic, supporters say the action is justified to save lives and to prevent others from injuries caused by drunk drivers.

Currently, interlock ignition systems are installed on the cars of people with at least two DUI convictions. The supporters of the stricter law say that the likelihood of repeat offenders is good reason to implement the system of first time offenders as well. For those who were affected, it's a small step that could have prevented some of the deadly drunk driving crashes their families suffered through. Their hope is that the bills can prevent others from having to deal with the same tragedy.

If South Carolina adopts the law, it would not be the first state in the nation to do so. In fact, 16 other states install ignition interlock systems on the cars of persons convicted of a DUI. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says that up to 44 percent of all driving fatalities in the state are caused by drunk drivers. The group says this statistic warrants a more bold approach, and several elected officials agree with MADD. However, the bills have currently stalled in the legislature and their passage is uncertain.

Source: The State, "Victims urge legislators to pass tougher DUI legislation," Noelle Phillips, April 25, 2012

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