MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Starting Wednesday, if you drink and drive, you're looking at more than just fines and jail time if you get caught as Emma's Law goes into effect.
If you blow a blood alcohol content level of .15 or higher and it's your first DUI offense, you're going to have an interlocking device put on your car. You'll have to blow into it before you turn the ignition on, and your car won't start if you've been drinking. The interlock device will have a camera on it to make sure no one but the driver blows into it.
It is a victory for Emma Longstreet's family.
They've been pushing for the law since 6-year-old Emma was killed when a drunk driver crashed into the family's car on New Year's Day in 2012. After years of fighting for stricter DUI laws, they are finally seeing it go into effect.
Mothers against Drunk Driving says one third of drunk driving arrests, crashes, deaths and injuries comes from repeat offenders. If you're convicted now of two or more DUI's in South Carolina, you'll have to use the ignition interlock device for two years.
DUI offenders will also have to pay for the interlock device on top of the fines. "You're looking at about a thousand bucks, in that ball park," said Justin Lovely, a criminal defense attorney for the Lovely Law Firm. "And then they have to monitor it. So you're looking at about a hundred bucks a month to monitor. And again for first time offenders, you're looking at six months, you're looking at $1,500, $1,600 dollars."
The Horry County CAST Coalition says it is glad to see Emma's Law go into effect and hopes it will help deter drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.