HORRY COUNTY, SC – In the House of Representatives, Representative Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, prefiled a bill two weeks ago. If the bill passed, then this bill will not allow a Police officer to arrest a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level less than 0.05 percent.
According to the SC law, right now, a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more will be arrested on the suspicion of drunk driving and the driver will be charged with DUI. But if any drunk driver has a blood alcohol level less than 0.08 percent, then the Police officer will decide whether to arrest and charge the driver with DUI or not.
As Todd Rutherford is also an attorney, according to him, he filed the bill after one of his clients was arrested and charged with DUI with a 0.001 blood alcohol level. His client had trace amounts of alcohol in her system and due to this reason, a Police officer arrested her. Rutherford also told that the charges were later dropped. When Rutherford proposed the bill, a Florence family was pushing for stricter DUI laws.
On the 7th of December, a two-car collision occurred in which 20-year-old David Shelton got injured. Shelton’s car collided with the car of a 22-year-old woman. The accident happened on US 76 because the woman was driving on the wrong side of the road on US 76. Shelton received severe injuries on his body and suffered from several broken bones. According to the doctors, Shelton would eventually need a complete knee replacement.
In South Carolina, David Shelton’s brother is now pushing for stricter DUI laws. David said that he hopes his accident can be a wakeup call to anyone who doesn’t already realize the risk they take when drinking and driving.”Being 20, you don’t really pay much attention because I can’t even buy alcohol but definitely after, I’m right there with my brother. I mean, something’s gotta be done because you don’t really put that much thought to it until something happens”.
There is a law in South Carolina that the license of a person is permanently cancelled if he/she commits the crime of DUI for the fourth time. Jonathan Shelton said that he wants to change one of the components of the law but he can’t do it alone. “If we as a public speak as one to the Congress and House of Representatives, you know just have to make our voice loud and not let our voice die out,” he said.
Drunk driving is taken very seriously in South Carolina and drunk driving laws are in place to make sure offenders are punished for their mistakes.