Driving to drugs: New laws went into effect today

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Several new laws took effect today.

And these laws will impact everyone from drivers to those struggling with drug addiction.

“Typically, what would happen is if someone overdosed, we’d see cases where others in the group would leave the person and let them either live or not live because they were scared of getting into legal jeopardy that way,”

Under the new law, a person in that group could call 911 without fear of arrest.

South Carolina is the 41st state in the country to put that law on the books.

“That’s a huge win for our community because it’s going to mean that that person gets medical attention faster and really could save lives,”

And there’s another piece of closely watched legislation to tell you about, but this one will have a broader impact.

Drivers across the state will pay 2 cents more at the pump–the first of a series of gas tax increases over the next six years.

The money will be used to pay for road maintenance and repairs.

“It’s much needed in South Carolina, and gas is pretty cheap here anyway, so a little bit of extra money that’s going to fix our roads is probably a good thing,”

“I don’t mind paying if have a good quality product. My concern is the distribution mechanism in Columbia,”

And speaking of drivers, mopeds are now classified as vehicles.

This means owners will soon have to register them with the DMV, and anyone driving a moped after drinking could face criminal prosecution.

“There was a little bit of gray area with charging the individuals driving a moped with DUI in the past. So now we have pretty much clarity that the mopeds are vehicles and they’re subject to DUI as well,”

In 2015, there were 45 moped-related deaths and more than 800 collisions.

The registration of those mopeds will go into effect next year to give the DMV time to prepare the tags.

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