Through Dec. 30, we are looking back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2014 – and seeing how things played out.
Emma’s Law is the first significant crackdown on drunken driving recently in South Carolina.
Its key provision requires that an interlock device be hooked up to a car’s ignition for all first-time drunken drivers who plead guilty or are convicted with a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 or higher. The equipment will not let the car start if the reading is 0.02 or higher.
It took effect Oct. 1.
The measure is named after Emma Longstreet of Lexington, a 6-year-old killed when her family’s vehicle was truck by a repeat drunken driver as they headed to church on New Year’s Day 2012.
Emma’s father, David, lost a bid in the spring to win a seat on Lexington Town Council.
It’s too new to have impact yet, said Laura Hudson, a victims’ rights advocate.
Obtaining a conviction for DUI is tied up in legal disputes over use of police videos of traffic stops as evidence, she said.
Meanwhile, Emma’s parents continue to crusade for safer driving through a foundation named after her with a message that will focus on children and teens.
Their initial goal is eliminating DUI-related traffic fatalities in Lexington County – 18 by mid-December. And they are encouraging restaurants to install breathalyzers so that patrons can measure intoxication voluntarily.