The seriousness of a DUI cannot be overstated. People caught driving under the influence are subject to some of the harshest penalties the legal system can dole out. If someone is injured or killed in the process, the punishment will be harsher still.
According to the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the state of South Carolina ranks at or near the top of the nation in DUI rates. As such, the offense has become a major point of emphasis for lawmakers. Earlier this year, the state passed Emma’s Law, a new statute that requires DUI offenders to get an ignition interlock system in their car after a first offense.
Now, lawmakers in South Carolina have introduced new legislation that would enforce standards on drunk driving stops. It would require every police force in the state to follow the same procedures when stopping a suspect and administering a field sobriety test. At the moment, there are no unifying standards — some forces don’t have video capabilities, some have video and audio and some have neither.
The proposed law would change this, making sure every police cruiser is equipped with video and audio recording capabilities and setting up guidelines that every officer would have to follow on a stop. It also aims to clarify the law in an attempt to close a perceived loophole that allowed some cases to get thrown out because the suspect was out of frame.
Public safety is certainly important, but only time will tell whether drivers receiving less wiggle room is the way to achieve it.
If you’re facing DUI charges, it’s important to know you have a right to fight them. A South Carolina attorney can advise you on your best course of action.
Source: wistv.com, “Proposed law would require standards for DUI arrest videos,” PJ Randhawa, May 20, 2014