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Tougher DUI law in SC takes effect

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Drunken drivers will start facing different penalties depending on whether they’re tipsy or trashed.

The new law that takes effect Tuesday ties tougher sentences to the amount of alcohol in drivers’ bodies. It also increases penalties for repeat drunken drivers and closes some legal
loopholes that critics said allowed suspects to escape punishment.

Law enforcement officers will join Gov. Mark Sanford at the Statehouse on Monday to discuss the law. The Legislature approved it last April after a year of debate.

The law creates a tiered penalty system based on how many times drivers are convicted and how much alcohol they have in their system. The blood-alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. The new penalties get harsher at 0.10 percent and again at 0.16 percent.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Drunken drivers will start facing different penalties depending on whether they’re tipsy or trashed.

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Associated poll

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