Crime & Courts

Drones would be barred near state prisons, jails

Flying drones near a state prison or county jail is a step closer to becoming illegal after a bill barring the practice cleared a critical hurdle on Wednesday.

The proposal makes it a misdemeanor to fly a drone within 500 feet around or 250 above a state prison or jail without the consent of the facility’s director.

It passed the Senate on a 42-0 vote on Wednesday, but it still needs a final, largely ceremonial vote before it gets sent to the S.C. House of Representatives.

Bryan Stirling, director of the Department of Corrections, said he was grateful with the bill’s progress.

“If we can stop people from flying drones over our prisons, that’s another tool to limit the amount of contraband that comes in,” Stirling said.

Cynthia Roldán: 803-771-8311, @CynthiaRoldan