The new TV commercial, which shows the aftermath of a DUI arrest, helps illustrate the commitment in resources and personnel between law enforcement and prosecutors in combating impaired driving. Additionally, SCDPS awarded the SC Commission on Prosecution Coordination a $1.2 million federal grant this year to hire a special prosecutor in each of the state’s16 judicial circuits to work exclusively on DUI cases.
“Enforcement, of course, is the most visible aspect of our fight against DUI,” SCDPS Director Mark Keel said. “However, the expeditious adjudication of DUI cases is equally important.”
The 60-second TV commercial that will begin airing Saturday is a follow-up to one that debuted during the Labor Day DUI enforcement effort. A preview of the new commercial was shown Thursday to media, solicitors and law enforcement representatives at simultaneous news events in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.
The commercial continues the story of a man stopped by a Highway Patrol trooper on suspicion of DUI and shows the effects his arrest has on his family as he heads to court.
SCDPS and local law enforcement agencies statewide will combine efforts to combat impaired driving during the Sober or Slammer holiday crackdown, from December 16 to January 3. The goal of the campaign is to lower the number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities and increase compliance with the state’s DUI laws. SCDPS also continues to encourage motorists to call *HP or *47 to report suspected drunk drivers before they can do any harm to themselves or others on the road.
“The Highway Patrol has seen a 72 percent increase in DUI arrests since 2006,” Colonel F.K. Lancaster Jr. said. “I think this should make it clear that the chances of being arrested for DUI in South Carolina are greater than ever before. The Highway Patrol and local law enforcement continue a focused crackdown on South Carolina’s number one highway killer.”
A DUI arrest can create a huge financial burden. The following are just a few of the average costs for a first offense DUI. (Costs for subsequent offenses or a felony DUI charge would be higher.):
Motor vehicle insurance fees: The cost of insurance typically doubles for at least the first three years after a DUI conviction. For the average driver in South Carolina that means a total increase of about $3,000.
Court fees: The fines for a DUI in South Carolina can be up to $2,000, but will be a minimum of $1,000.
Attorney fees: According to attorneys throughout the state, $3,500 is the average cost to fight a first offense DUI.
Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP): Drivers charged with DUI in South Carolina are required to go through the ADSAP program. The minimum cost for ADSAP is $500; additional fees could be as high as $2,500.
Bail bondsman: Bail bondsmen charge a maximum of 15 percent of the fine. For a DUI, that equates to at least $150.
Vehicle towing: Having the vehicle towed after a DUI arrest generally costs about $150;
License reinstatement fee: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles charges a $100 license reinstatement fee.
Other DUI costs can be more long-term including loss of employment (due to the DUI charge itself or not having a license to get to work), time off from work fighting the charges, increases in life insurance premiums and/or losing a professional license.
During the last Christmas/New Year’s holiday enforcement mobilization from December 16, 2009 to January 3, 2010, 41 people were killed in traffic collisions. Preliminary state data from the Office of Highway Safety shows that 17 of those deaths were the result of a DUI-related collision.