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MADD gives South Carolina poor drunk driving rating

Mothers Against Drunk Driving says that South Carolina has some of the worst drunk driving statistics in the nation. That information is contained in a recently released report. To remedy the situation, MADD is encouraging the state's legislature to change DWI laws. Modifications would require more drunk drivers to automatically be saddled with an ignition interlock, even after a first offense. The group is pushing for ignition interlocks for those convicted of DWI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12 percent or higher.

Drunk driving deaths are admittedly a problem in South Carolina. Rates of drunk driving fatalities have risen in South Carolina in recent years. A 16 percent increase was noted between 2011 and 2012. South Carolina only receives a three-star rating from MADD, which awards five stars to top-performing states.

MADD argues that ignition interlocks are the best way to stop drunk drivers. Representatives from the group say that South Carolina families deserve to be protected from drunk drivers. An ignition interlock mandate could help improve safety on state roads.

Ignition interlock devices are installed in the vehicles of those convicted of drunk driving charges. These machines measure BAC before allowing the person to get behind the wheel. They can also measure BAC at intervals while the person is operating the vehicle. In many cases, the offender is required to pay for the installation of the device.

A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help a defendant facing drunk driving charges learn more about ignition interlock devices. Criminal defendants facing DUI charges are not considered guilty simply because they are charged. These defendants may be able to benefit from consulting a qualified defense lawyer.

Source: The Summerville Journal Scene, "MADD: DUI reform needed in South Carolina" No author given, Jan. 24, 2014

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