Senators debate more breathalyzers for DUI drivers - FOX Carolina 21

Senators debate more breathalyzers for DUI drivers

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A breathalyzer ignition interlock system device that can be installed in DUI drivers' cars. (File/FOX Carolina) A breathalyzer ignition interlock system device that can be installed in DUI drivers' cars. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When the blue lights flashed and sirens rang out, Terry Taylor said he saw his son lying in a road.

"It was very emotional. You're looking at your child lying on a gurney covered in blood and mud," Taylor said.

Back in 2000, he said a drunk driver hit his son and three other teammates on the Wade Hampton High School track team as they ran along State Park Road in Greenville County. And now, he's a community action site leader for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD.

"I got involved because I saw a lot of pain out there, a lot of people just grieving. They lost loved ones. I was fortunate I didn't," Taylor said.

And that's why members with the organization support ignition interlocks. It's a breathalyzer installed in repeat offenders' cars as part of their convictions. If a driver blows and the device reads they are drunk, the car won't start.

"It's part of the deal. It's part of the solution process," Taylor said.

And now some state senators are looking to expand the breathalyzer program. Right now, repeat offenders are required to have them in their cars. But, in bill S-137, some lawmakers want to require first time DUI offenders who blow a .12 or higher to have the device installed.

"Alcohol affects everyone differently," Grant Varner said. He's a lawyer in Greenville who represents DUI clients. "Now magically they've pulled a number out of the air and said at .12 everyone should have this device."

He said the ignition interlock system doesn't work because drivers beat the breathalyzer.

"I still get just as many DUI 2nd, 3rd, 4th and above come into my office as I ever have," Varner said.

But when Terry said he sees his son, he's grateful and believes ignition interlock can put the brakes on drunk drivers.

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