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2008-UP-322 - Persons v. SCDMV

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals


Anne T. Persons, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Henry McMaster, in his official capacity as the Attorney General of the state of South Carolina, and the State of South Carolina, Defendants,

of whom South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is Respondent.


Appeal From Richland County
James R. Barber, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2008-UP-322
Heard June 6, 2008 - Filed June 27, 2008 
Withdrawn and Substituted September 4, 2008   


AFFIRMED


Desa Ballard and P. Christopher Smith, Jr., of West Columbia, for Appellant.

Frank L. Valenta, Jr., and Philip S. Porter, of Blythewood, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Anne T. Persons (Persons) argues the circuit court erred in finding no legal conflict exists between the administrative stay provisions of South Carolina Code Ann. sections 56-1-365(F) and 56-1-430 (2006), which govern the suspension of a driver’s license, and the criminal stay provision of South Carolina Code Ann. section 18-1-70 (1976), which governs the execution of a judicially-imposed criminal sentence.

We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities: State v. Price, 333 S.C. 267, 271-72, 510 S.E.2d 215, 218 (1998) (stating suspension of a license is non-punitive and non-criminal in nature and does not constitute a criminal penalty for purposes of double jeopardy); Yeargin v. S.C. Dep’t of Highways & Pub. Transp., 313 S.C. 387, 390, 438 S.E.2d 234, 235 (1993) (explaining suspension of a license following a conviction for driving under the influence is not considered part of the punishment for the offense and recognizing mandatory revocation of a driver’s license without an administrative hearing does not violate due process when there has been a prior hearing and conviction on the criminal charge causing the revocation); Brewer v. S.C. Highway Dep’t, 261 S.C. 52, 57, 198 S.E.2d 256, 258 (1973) (holding the administrative suspension of a license is “a forfeiture of the privilege to drive”); Parker v. State Highway Dep’t, 224 S.C. 263, 271, 78 S.E.2d 382, 385 (1953) (holding a driver’s license suspension is not part of the punishment fixed by the court, nor is it an added punishment for the criminal offense committed, as it is civil and not criminal in nature); Taylor v. S.C. Dep’t of Motor Vehicles, 368 S.C. 33, 36, 627 S.E.2d 751, 753 (Ct. App. 2006) cert. granted, (Aug. 9, 2007) (citing Sponar v. S.C. Dep’t of Pub. Safety, 361 S.C. 35, 39, 603 S.E.2d 412, 415 (Ct. App. 2004)) (holding a driver’s license is not a property right but is a mere privilege subject to reasonable regulations in the interest of public safety and welfare); Page v. S.C. Dep’t of Pub. Safety, 329 S.C. 166, 169, 495 S.E.2d 220, 222 (Ct. App. 1997) (implicitly holding administrative suspensions are independent of criminal sentences); see also S.C. Code Ann. § 56-1-300 (2006) (stating the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend or revoke a driver’s license without a preliminary hearing when records or other sufficient evidence demonstrates the licensee has been convicted of an offense requiring mandatory revocation or suspension upon conviction); S.C. Code Ann. § 56-1-400 (2006 & Supp. 2007) (indicating the purely administrative nature of a driver’s license suspension and restoration by stating “[t]he Department of Motor Vehicles, upon suspending or revoking a license, shall require that such license shall be surrendered to the Department of Motor Vehicles” and “[t]he Department of Motor Vehicles shall not . . . restore a license which has been suspended for . . . driving under the influence of intoxicants . . . until the person has filed an application for a new license, submitted to an examination as upon an original application, and has satisfied the Department of Motor Vehicles . . . that it would be safe to grant [the licensee] the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the public highways”).

AFFIRMED.

WILLIAMS, THOMAS, JJ., and CURETON, A.J., concur.