Distracted driving ban, Sunday alcohol sales pass 2nd reading - FOX Carolina 21

Distracted driving ban, Sunday alcohol sales pass 2nd reading in Oconee Co.

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The Oconee County Council meeting Tuesday. (April 1, 2014/FOX Carolina) The Oconee County Council meeting Tuesday. (April 1, 2014/FOX Carolina)
WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Two ordinances in Oconee County are one step closer to becoming laws after the County Council meeting on Tuesday evening.

First up, the council passed the second reading of an ordinance that would allow all citizens to vote for Sunday alcohol sales.

If it passes the third and final reading, it will appear on the ballot in November.

The council created the ordinance after a local restaurant owner requested the vote, said County Administrator Scott Moulder.

Moulder said that according to state law, alcohol sales on Sunday is not permitted unless individual cities or counties vote to allow it. 

At Tuesday's meeting the council also passed the second reading of a distracted driving ordinance, which could go into effect immediately if it passes a final vote at the next council meeting on April 15.

The ordinance would ban any handheld use of phones, whether talking or texting, while the vehicle is moving. People will be able to dial a number if they sit idle at a red light or stop sign. 

Chief Deputy Kevin Davis said that this was very much a citizen-driven ordinance. He said it was requested by drivers to make streets throughout the county as safe as possible. 

Deputies won't be able to enforce the ban in incorporated cities, according to Davis. He said the ban will be enforced on county property. Walhalla and Clemson, though, have their own texting bans that will remain as they are.

If the distracted driving ordinance passes, a transition period will be allowed for residents to get accustomed to the law. 

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