It is a well-known fact in South Carolina that drunk driving can lead to a lengthy investigation, serious criminal charges and severe penalties if convicted. The consequences can range from the suspension of your driver’s license, to hefty fines or even time spent in prison. If anyone was hurt while you were driving drunk and you are deemed to be responsible for their injuries, the charges can be even more severe.
However, it has been noted that there is a loophole in South Carolina law that exempts moped operators from such charges. The issue is that according to the definition of a motor vehicle in the state, the term refers to any self-propelled vehicle, with the exception of mopeds. As such, mopeds are not legally considered motor vehicles.
Not only does this mean that they are technically not affected by traffic laws, but it also means that drivers who have been suspended from operating motor vehicles can still ride a moped. However, plans are in place to close this loophole, further limiting the options of drivers who have received DUI convictions. While the changes may take a while to be processed, it is important to stay aware of the law in your home state at all times in order to avoid getting into trouble.
If you are uncertain of what your rights are as a road user or you have been charged with drunk driving, there is help available. An attorney can bring you up to date with your state’s laws and explain any charges you might face. He or she may also be able to assist you through your criminal investigation and might be able to help you with forming your defense and working toward avoiding conviction.
Source: WDTN, “South Carolina law loophole allows moped operators to drive drunk,” Brennan McDavid, April 24, 2015