By: Jenny Brady
"Today is a somber day," Governor Sanford said. He was standing between two victims of drunk drivers.
Tonya Spradley's son was on his bike when he was hit by a drunk driver three years ago.
"The guy was speeding, he was a repeat offender and words can't explain how you feel when you experience that," Spradley said. "It just crushes your whole world."
Mike Finley experienced the impact of a drunk driver first hand. He was hit head-on by a drunk driver.
"There was gas running everywhere and the motors were hot and they were thinking this thing could spark," Finley said. "I was begging the paramedic to hit me in the head with a hammer. Just kill me now and don't let me burn to death."
New penalties include: an increase in possible prison time depending on how high the person's blood alcohol content is; and if a person refuses to take a breathalyzer test their license could be suspended for up to six months, double the current penalty.
People under 21 with a blood alcohol level of .02% or higher will have their license automatically suspended for three months the first time and six months after that.
People over 21 with a level of .15% will have their license suspended for one month the first time, three months the second and four months after that.
The bill will take effect February 2009.