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Bill Number: 89 Ratification Number: 120 Act Number 84 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Penalties for operating a motor vehicle while license to drive is suspended
(A84, R120, S89)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-460, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE THE OPERATOR'S LICENSE TO DRIVE IS CANCELED, SUSPENDED, OR REVOKED, SO AS TO INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS, AND PROHIBIT SUSPENSION OF A PORTION OF THE PENALTY AND TO CLARIFY SITUATIONS WHERE DIFFERENT PENALTIES APPLY, TO PROVIDE THAT CONVICTIONS WHICH OCCURRED WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF THE LAST VIOLATION CONSTITUTE PRIOR OFFENSES, TO REQUIRE NOTICE OF ALL SUSPENSIONS AND EXEMPT CASES WHERE THE DEPARTMENT HAS NOT BEEN NOTIFIED OF PAYMENT OF FINES OR PENALTIES, AND TO REPEAL SECTION 56-9-70 RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE OR REGISTRATION OR OPERATING PRIVILEGES ARE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Penalties for driving while license canceled, suspended, or revoked
SECTION 1. Section 56-1-460 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-1-460. Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this State when his license to drive is canceled, suspended, or revoked must, upon conviction, be fined two hundred dollars or imprisoned for thirty days for the first violation, for the second violation fined five hundred dollars and imprisoned for sixty consecutive days, and for the third and subsequent violation imprisoned for not less than ninety days nor more than six months, no portion of which may be suspended by the trial judge. The Department upon receiving a record of the conviction of any person under this section upon a charge of driving a vehicle while his license was suspended for a definite period of time shall extend the period of the suspension for an additional like period. If the original period of suspension has expired or terminated before trial and conviction, the Department shall again suspend the license of the person for an additional like period of time. If the suspension is not for a definite period of time, the suspension must be for an additional three months. If the license of a person cited for a violation of this section is suspended solely pursuant to the provisions of Section 56-25-20, then the additional period of suspension pursuant to this section is thirty days and the person does not have to offer proof of financial responsibility as required under Section 56-9-500 prior to his license being reinstated. If the conviction was upon a charge of driving while a license was revoked, the Department shall not issue a new license for an additional period of one year from the date the person could otherwise have applied for a new license. Only those violations which occurred within a period of five years including and immediately preceding the date of the last violation constitute prior violations within the meaning of this section.
If the license of the person convicted was suspended pursuant to the provisions of Section 56-5-2990, then he must be punished as follows and no part of the minimum sentence may be suspended:
(1) for a first offense, imprisoned for not less than ten nor more than thirty days;
(2) for a second offense, imprisoned for not less than sixty days nor more than six months;
(3) for a third and subsequent offense, not less than six months nor more than three years."
Penalty provisions repealed
SECTION 2. Section 56-9-70 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
No penalties when fines or penalties have been paid and department not notified
SECTION 3. This act specifically does not apply if and when the proposed suspension is based solely on lack of notice being given to the Department when the person has in fact paid any fines or penalty due.
Notice of suspension required
SECTION 4. The licensee shall be notified of suspension under this section the same as is required when the license is suspended due to loss of points as provided in Section 56-1-810.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.