Traffic Violation Laws in South Carolina

Once a South Carolina driver accumulates six points on his or her record from breaking various traffic laws, the Department of Motor Vehicles sends a letter reminding the driver of the importance of responsible driving, and the negative effects of bad driving practices.

Once a driver has accumulated more than 12 points, the license is automatically suspended. A driver with 12 to 15 points will have the driver's license suspend for three months, 16 or 17 points carries a four month suspension, 18 or 19 points sees the driving privileges suspended for five months, and 20 or more points requires a six-month suspension.

One incidence of reckless driving earns you the warning letter from the DMV with a 6-point penalty, as does passing a stopped school bus or speeding 25 miles per hour over the posted limit. Lesser violations carry less points. Ignoring a train signal, failing to yield right-of-way, speeding between 11 and 24 miles above the posted limits, tailgating, failure to signal, improper lane usage and running stop signs or lights are examples of 4-point violations. Two point violations include failure to dim lights, speeding from 1 to 10 miles per hours over posted limits, a defective tail light and driving too fast for conditions.

South Carolina Videotape Laws

In South Carolina, drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08% (or underage drivers with a level of .02%) receive a DUI. A first offense is considered a misdemeanor, but unlike in some other states, this offense will permanently remain on a driver's record.

South Carolina requires that patrol officers videotape the administration of a breathalyzer test to DUI suspects. From the moment they turn on the lights until they have arrested the individual for DUI, they must have a dash-mounted video device recording.

South Carolina also has what's called an Implied Consent Law, which means that by owning a license, a driver is giving implied consent to be tested for alcohol. Refusal results in an automatic 90-day suspension—more, if you've been convicted for alcohol- or drug-related offenses in the past.

DUI Convictions

The fine for any DUI conviction can range anywhere from $400 to almost $6500. Any driver convicted of DUI will have his or her license suspended for a minimum of 5 months. Other fines, penalties, jail time, community service and treatment programs may be required, depending on the individual circumstance.

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