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Driving with a canceled, suspended, or revoked driver's license

MEMORANDUM

To:      Clerks of Court, Magistrates, County Treasurers, Municipal Judges, Municipal Treasurers

From:  Robert L. McCurdy

Re:      New D.U.S. Legislation; Distribution of Revenue

Date:  May 18, 2004

Effective February 18, 2004, Section 2 of Act No. 176 of 2004, amends Section 56-1-460 of the South Carolina Code, as it relates to driving under suspension, so as to increase penalties for violations of the section, to vest certain violations within the summary court jurisdiction, and to create a "pull out" of $100 from each fine imposed pursuant to that section.  Section 2 of the Act is provided below.

As amended, Section 56-1-460 (C) provides that $100 of each fine imposed in summary or general sessions court pursuant to the section must be placed by the Comptroller General into a special restricted account to be used by the Department of Public Safety for the Highway Patrol.  The language of the subsection is identical to that created by the Legislature last term as it related to the criminal offense of driving under the influence. After discussions with the Comptroller General's office and other state agencies, this office has been instructed to advise you that the $100 "pull out" currently must be mailed directly to the Department of Public Safety, who shall place the funds in an appropriate account.  These funds should be clearly identified and forwarded to your county treasurer (municipal treasurer in the case of municipal courts) on a monthly basis, who shall forward the funds to the following address: Revenue Accounting Department, Department of Public Safety, Post Office Box 1029, Blythewood, South Carolina 29016-1029.

After all pertinent legislation, including the budget, has been passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, we will issue our annual Fees and Assessments Memorandum instructing you on the appropriate collection and distribution of court generated revenues.  If the procedure described above has been amended, we will notify you of any changes at that time.  Any necessary form transmittal documents will also be distributed at that time.

Should you have questions concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Driving with a canceled, suspended, or revoked driver's license

SECTION    2.    Section 56-1-460 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 263 of 2002, is further amended to read:

"Section 56-1-460.    (A)(1)    Except as provided in subitem (2), a 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 punished as follows:

(a)    for a first offense, fined three hundred dollars or imprisoned for thirty days, or both;

(b)    for a second offense, fined six hundred dollars or imprisoned for sixty consecutive days, or both; and

(c)    for a third and subsequent offense, fined one thousand dollars and imprisoned for not less than ninety days nor more than six months, no portion of which may be suspended by the trial judge.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 22-3-540, 22-3-545, and 22-3-550, an offense punishable under this subitem may be tried in magistrate's court.

(2)    A person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this State when his license has been suspended or revoked pursuant to the provisions of Section 56-5-2990 must, upon conviction, be punished as follows:

(a)    for a first offense, fined three hundred dollars or imprisoned for not less than ten nor more than thirty days;

(b)    for a second offense, fined six hundred dollars or imprisoned for not less than sixty days nor more than six months;

(c)    for a third and subsequent offense, fined one thousand dollars and imprisoned for not less than six months nor more than three years.

No portion of the minimum sentence imposed under this subitem may be suspended.

(B)    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, 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 for 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.

(C)    One hundred dollars of each fine imposed pursuant to this section must be placed by the Comptroller General into a special restricted account to be used by the Department of Public Safety for the Highway Patrol."

Time effective

SECTION    3.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor, except that the provisions in Sections 44-48-40(A), changing the time period for written notice from ninety days to one hundred eighty days, take effect six months after the signature of the Governor.

Ratified the 12th day of February, 2004.

Approved the 18th day of February, 2004.