Letters to the Editor

Is Columbia sincerely concerned about city’s DUI problem?

A South Carolina state trooper holds an empty can of beer during a traffic stop that resulted in a high-speed chase on Aug. 17 near Camden.
A South Carolina state trooper holds an empty can of beer during a traffic stop that resulted in a high-speed chase on Aug. 17 near Camden. Columbia

On Sunday, Sept. 9, The State printed a front page article regarding the loopholes in Emma’s Law which allow many DUI first offenders to obtain a temporary license only two to three days after the arrest and continue driving as before. This amounts to merely a slap on the wrist, and MADD is justifiably outraged by this loophole in the law.

On the same day, there was an article which questions the sincerity of Columbia government officials in dealing with the DUI problem. The city is promoting Columbia craft brewer Bierkeller’s pop-up beer gardens throughout the city. What do they think that people drink at these events, Coke or Pepsi? I would hazard a guess that many of the people who attend these events are well above the legal limit of 0.08 when they drive home. It seems rather hypocritical of the city’s leaders to use alcohol as a means of achieving growth of the city, when the danger of destroying many lives is so great.

Considering the legislature’s reluctance to tighten Emma’s Law, the only alternative seems to be that automobile manufacturers be required to install ignition interlocks on all new vehicles.

D. Herbert Brazell

West Columbia

Only long-term jail time will deter drunken drivers

Your recent article concerning limited use of ignition interlock devices for DUI in South Carolina missed a very important aspect.

Having worked in the construction industry in this state and across the country for the last 40 years, I have seen firsthand how these offenders routinely continue to drive, even after multiple DUIs. Simply buy a vehicle, put it in your girlfriends’ name, have her insure and license it, and, voila, back on the road.

Most are even driving with no license at all or under suspension. The only thing that gets their attention is long-term incarceration. Laws must be changed to clear our jails and prisons of nonviolent drug offenders and start replacing them with true threats to our communities’ safety and well-being.

David Sellers


We can stop litter with exposure

When I saw a photograph of litter in your paper that was nauseating in its ugliness, I thought, maybe if The State published a picture every day (like you do the sports pictures on the front page at the top) of different areas of the city with captions identifying where it is, maybe we citizens would be moved to act.

Betty Kornegay Kaneft


Can SC roads withstand Hurricane Florence’s fury?

As South Carolina braces for the hit of Hurricane Florence, I wonder how many of our roads will survive the onslaught of the expected rainfall in certain parts of the state.

When heavy rains hit the Midlands a few years ago, we saw the devastation. Now it looks like it’s the Upstate’s turn to get it. With so many roads in the Upstate of South Carolina rated as poor by the SCDOT, how many will be affected? Have those drainpipes that run under so many roads been inspected to see what kind of shape they are in? Can they carry the extra water without washing out the roadway or making sinkholes? Let us not forget about the number of structurally deficient bridges. Will they still be standing after the heavy rainfall?

The results of years of deferred maintenance on our current highways system could rear its ugly head with washed-out roads and bridges. Maybe it’s about time for SCDOT to up the funding for the maintenance of roads to take care of the little things before they become big and expensive problems. Just something to think about.

Bill Meyer


The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.