Tougher DUI bill heads to South Carolina Senate floor

| 5/30/2003

Legislation that would lower the legal blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving convictions in South Carolina from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent is headed to the Senate floor.

H3231 allows police to set up roadblocks to look for drunken drivers. It also makes it easier to prosecute DUI cases.

Under current law, a prosecutor must prove a driver is impaired even if his blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit, The State newspaper reported. The new law would allow a jury to convict someone of drunken driving exclusively on blood-alcohol levels.

South Carolina is under a federal mandate to toughen its drunken driving penalties or risk losing millions of dollars in highway funds. The state has already lost $1.8 million in incentives and could lose $60 million more unless it lowers the limit to 0.08.