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Proposed bill would require breathalyzer program for offenders

The South Carolina Senate is now considering a bill that would require first time DUI offenders to install ignition-interlock breathalyzers in their vehicles. If the new law passes, people who fail field sobriety tests with a blood-alcohol content of .12 percent or more would be required to connect a breathalyzer to the ignition in their automobile. Currently, the law only requires second and third offenders to do so.

When a breathalyzer is installed in a vehicle, people have to pass a blood-alcohol test before the automobile will start. Under the current law, people with multiple DUIs are required to install these devices after having their licenses suspended so that driving privileges can be restored.

Opponents of the bill say that first offenders should not have to go through this process and that it should continue to be a punishment only for repeat offenders. Those who support the bill say that it helps offenders get back to work by allowing them to drive sooner. Repeat offenders would be required to install a breathalyzer immediately and forego the license suspension.

If someone has been charged with a DUI, it may be beneficial for them to speak with a DUI/DWI attorney. An attorney experienced in the field of driving laws may be able to help someone fight charges if legal procedures were not followed correctly. Additionally, a lawyer could help someone understand their options and may help to ensure that legal rights are protected.

Source: Herald Online, "SC bill would expand breathalyzer program for DUI offenders," Jamie Self, Feb. 12, 2013

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