The Buzz

April 9, 2014

Emma's Law headed to governor's desk

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

Emma's Law is headed to Gov. Nikki Haley's desk.

The Senate passed unanimously the House's version of the law Wednesday that requires alcohol breath testers installed in cars for some offenders convicted of drunk driving for the first time.

State Sen. Joel Lourie, a Richland Democrat who was the bill's main sponsor, was happy to see the measure go to the governor after needing a year for final passage.

But he also was saddened remembering the lives of those lost in drunk driving tragedies, including the inspiration for the bill -- Emma Longstreet, a 6-year-old Lexington girl killed by a repeat drunken driving offender in 2012.

"I would have rather had her here," said Emma's mom, Karen Longstreet, who sat in the Senate gallery during the vote Wednesday.

Haley's office did not respond immediately to a question on when she might sign the bill.

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