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Bill Number: 3180 Ratification Number: 545 Act Number 461 Introducing Body: House Subject: Nonresident traffic violator compacts enacted
(A461, R545, H3180)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 25 TO TITLE 56 SO AS TO ENACT THE NON-RESIDENT VIOLATOR COMPACTS; TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR THE SUSPENSION OF DRIVERS' LICENSES OF PERSONS FAILING TO COMPLY WITH TRAFFIC CITATIONS AND THEIR REINSTATEMENT; TO ALLOW A RELEASE ON PERSONAL RECOGNIZANCE UPON THE ISSUANCE OF A UNIFORM TRAFFIC CITATION AND TO ESTABLISH A PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR BEFORE THE COURT WHEN REQUIRED BY CITATION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Nonresident Traffic Violator Compacts enacted
Section 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding to Title 56:
Section 56-25-10. The Nonresident Traffic Violator Compacts of 1972 and 1977 (compacts) are enacted into law by reference and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein. The Chief Commissioner of the Department of Highways and Public Transportation shall execute all documents and perform all other acts necessary to carry out the provisions of the compacts. The Highways and Public Transportation Commission may promulgate regulations consistent with the provisions of this chapter and in accordance with the provisions of Act 176 of 1977 (the Administrative Procedures Act).
The Department shall maintain a current list of those jurisdictions which have entered into the compacts. Such list and copies of the compacts shall from time to time be disseminated to those agencies and individuals who are responsible for enforcement of their provisions.
Section 56-25-20. When any South Carolina court or the driver licensing authority of any compact jurisdiction notifies the Department that a resident of South Carolina or person possessing a valid South Carolina driver's license has failed to comply with the terms of a traffic citation issued in this or any compact jurisdiction, the Department shall suspend the person's driver's license provided that any such notice from a South Carolina court is received no more than five months from the date on which the traffic citation was issued. Such license shall remain suspended until satisfactory evidence has been furnished to the Department of compliance with the terms of the citation and any further order of the court having jurisdiction in the matter and until a reinstatement fee of twenty dollars is paid to the Department. Any person whose license is suspended under this section shall not be required to file proof of financial responsibility as required by the financial responsibility act as a condition for reinstatement.
Upon notification by a South Carolina court that a nonresident licensed in a compact jurisdiction has failed to comply with the terms of a traffic citation, the Department shall notify the licensing authority in the compact jurisdiction for such action as appropriate under the terms of the compacts.
Section 56-25-30. Any law enforcement officer who issues to a person a uniform traffic citation may, in addition to any other action authorized by law and subject to the exceptions noted in this section, allow the person to proceed without first either having to post bond or appear before a magistrate, recorder or other judicial officer if the person accepts the citation. Such acceptance shall constitute the person's recognizance to comply with the terms of the citation.
When issuing a citation for a traffic violation to a nonresident who is licensed by a compact jurisdiction, if the law enforcement officer receives the person's recognizance as above described, the officer shall not, subject to the exceptions noted below, require the person to post bond but shall allow the person to proceed.
Section 56-25-40. (a) No person shall be entitled to be released on personal recognizance pursuant to Section 56-25-30 if the officer requires the person to appear before a magistrate, recorder or other judicial officer or if the offense is:
(1) One which would result in the suspension or revocation of a person's license or privilege to drive under the laws of this State;
(2) A violation of Section 56-1-440 prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license;
(3) A violation of a highway weight limitation.
(b) Any person who willfully fails to appear before the court as required by a uniform traffic citation without having posted such bond as may be required by the court or been granted a continuance by the court shall ;be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days."
Section 2. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.