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South Carolina ranks third in drunk driving-related deaths

Drunk driving is a constant problem across the country. South Carolina is no exception. According to the latest study by 24-7 Wall Street, the state currently ranks third for drunk driving deaths. Although that piece of information is a cause for concern, there is also the matter of how it will affect residents accused of drunk driving.

The study indicates that almost 360 people lost their lives to drunk drivers in 2012. A police officer from Myrtle Beach shared two possible reasons why the state ranked so high in the study. One, he believed, was due to the fact that many people visited the state for vacation with the hope of having a good time. Two, is the attitude of the local residents that the drunk driving accidents will not happen to them. That they will not be the one who gets involved in a drunk driving accident or gets pulled over by police for being intoxicated.

The release of the statistics seems timely since it is just a few weeks from when the new bill is scheduled to be signed. Governor Nikki Haley just signed new legislation, dubbed "Emma's Law." The new legislation increases drunk driving penalties. With the new legislation, a first-time drunk driving conviction will result in the installation of an ignition interlock device if a driver has a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 percent or more. For a second conviction, a 0.08 percent BAC will result in a driver having to keep the device for two years.

It is unfortunate that the state ranks so high in terms of drunk driving deaths. However, South Carolina's current standing should not serve as a basis for unnecessarily filing of drunk driving charges or a drunk driving conviction with little basis. A resident accused of drunk driving should seek immediate legal remedies to prevent further damage to his or her personal and professional reputation.

Source: Carolina Live, "SC ranks third highest in the nation for drunk driving deaths," Marc Liverman, April 28, 2014

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