MADD South Carolina and our supporters were incredibly active in the legislature this year, but as is often the case in the world of policy making, it was a year of successes and shortcomings. 

Our main push has been around Senate Bill 18, the all-offender ignition interlock bill.  It would require all convicted DUI offenders to use an interlock for some time, and we know from extensive research that the states with this type of law save the most lives.  It would also require those who refuse to provide a breath sample to law enforcement after a DUI arrest to have an interlock in order to have any driving privileges reinstated

We were optimistic after early subcommittee and committee hearings in the Senate and a very well attended rally on the State House steps in February.  At that rally, Governor McMaster insisted the legislature get the bill to him quickly, saying a sensible measure like this should not take long to pass.Strong leadership in the Senate overcome some opposition, and the bill passed the Senate by a 40-1 vote on March 6th.  With this momentum and a good bit of time left in the 2019 session, we were optimistic.

Unfortunately, two months later the 2019 session came to a close without the bill even having a subcommittee hearing, despite much effort to encourage one.   

We are disappointed, but the bill will still be in line for its hearing when the legislature returns in January 2020.  It does not need Senate approval again.  We will be educating our House members before January on the importance of this bill and ask all of our supporters to continue to let their representatives hear about your support as we get closer to January.

Our fight has not ended, and our resolve has not weakened.  Will you stay with us for the push for a strengthened Emma’s Law in 2020?

We also want to update our supporters on the bill to require those who serve alcohol to have to attend an approved responsible beverage service training program.  Through the last date of the legislative session, the original Senate 342 bill, passed the Senate along with a House subcommittee and committee.  However, the clock essentially ran out before a full House vote took place. 

We also want to update our supporters on the bill to require those who serve alcohol to have to attend an approved responsible beverage service training program.  Through the last date of the legislative session, the original Senate 342 bill, passed the Senate along with a House subcommittee and committee.  However, the clock essentially ran out before a full House vote took place.   In addition, on the final day of the session, some of our Senate supporters added the S. 342 language to another bill that had passed the House (Senate Bill 455), in an attempt to get that language passed in 2019.  However, that effort also ran out of time as the 5 pm deadline arrived with that bill still in a stack that did not get formally announced.  Like the interlock bill, the merchant education language will be in the same spot on the agenda in January.