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SC State Senator Dick Harpootlian Introduces Bill for Stricter DUI Penalties

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SC State Senator Dick Harpootlian Introduces Bill Proposing Harsher Penalties for Multiple DUI Offenders

COLUMBIA, S.C.

In an effort to curb the escalating number of Driving-Under-The-Influence (DUI) incidents in South Carolina, State Senator Dick Harpootlian introduced a bipartisan bill, S. 1157, which calls for stricter penalties for repeat DUI offenders. Harpootlian announced the proposal in a press conference Thursday morning, accompanied by representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), and the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV).

A Crisis in South Carolina

Harpootlian expressed concern over the frequency of DUI incidents in the state, citing South Carolina’s position among the top ten states with the highest drunk driving fatality rates in the country. “Keeping our communities safe is paramount,” said Senator Harpootlian. He further illuminated the issue by revealing that since 2020, nearly 2,000 multiple DUI offenders have taken plea deals to reduce their sentences, some of whom had severely injured unsuspecting drivers.

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The New Bill

The proposed bill seeks to address this concern by preventing plea deals and imposing more severe punishments on individuals guilt of repeat DUI offences. Harpootlian stated, “South Carolina should not be allowing individuals who have committed multiple DUIs to go home without help or being held appropriately accountable.”

Building a Safer South Carolina

The enactment of this bill would stand as a substantial stride towards creating safer communities in South Carolina, deterring potential drunk drivers while effectively dealing with repeat offenders. Furthermore, the proposed harsher penalties align with Senator Harpootlian’s emphasized role of accountability, driving home the point that DUI offenders must face the consequences of their actions, both for their safety and that of others.

Next Steps

Now that the bill has been introduced, it needs to go through several stages, including committee review and amendments, before it can be approved by both houses and become law. Only then could the harsher penalties for multiple DUI offenders take effect.

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SC State Senator Dick Harpootlian Introduces Bill for Stricter DUI Penalties

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