Emma's Law would install ignition interlock device in DUI offend - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Family who lost girl, 6, in crash wants ignition interlock devices in DUI offenders' cars

Emma's Law would force former DUI offenders to install an interlocking device in their cars. Emma's Law would force former DUI offenders to install an interlocking device in their cars.

David and Karen Longstreet are doing what they can to make their daughter, Emma Longstreet, the face of change in South Carolina after she was killed in a DUI crash.

"I'm going to try to do what I can to not let Emma's death be just a statistic in a book and her blood be shed in vain," said David.

Since the fatal accident that killed the 6-year-old on New Year's Day in 2012, the Longstreets have turned their efforts toward the legislature and Emma's Law.

"I don't think I could just sit back and allow myself not to get involved," said David. "I'm not saying I want to be here, but I am here."

The measure targets first time convicted DUI offenders with breathalyzer results of .12 or higher. It requires them to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Sen. Joel Lourie has seen it work in other states and believes it could work here.

"We've seen reductions as high as 50 percent, and that's our goal here," said Lourie.

If the person blows a .02 or higher, the car won't start. It also stiffens the penalties for those who try and get around the law.

"If you are in another vehicle and you get caught, it's a 90 day prison term and a $500 fine," said David.

If Emma's Law is passed, the more times a person is convicted of DUI, the longer the interlock device stays on their vehicle.

"If we save one life, and I believe we'll save more, but if we save one life this will be worth it," said Lourie.

The efforts are worth it for the Longstreets.

"We've got to have something to keep them off the roads while they're still impaired," said David.

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