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Mopeds now subject to driving while intoxicated laws

For South Carolina residents who had grown accustomed to the laws centered around driving while intoxicated in the state being limited to certain types of vehicles, changes are on the way. Concern over people on mopeds and their safety initiated the changes that were made by the state government. Now, those who are on mopeds are subjected to new safety standards and must adhere to the law when it comes to drinking and getting on a moped.

The new law was previously vetoed by former Governor Nikki Haley citing overreach in forcing moped riders to wear certain types of equipment for safety purposes. When Governor Haley left her post to take a role the Trump administration, Henry McMaster became governor. He has signed the bill. In the past, those on mopeds were not included in the drunk driving laws in what was referred to as the "liquor-cycle loophole" as mopeds were not technically considered a motor vehicle.

Attempts to change that law have been ongoing for seven years. Often, those who are arrested and convicted for driving while intoxicated and lose their driving privileges take to mopeds to get back and forth. Since South Carolina lacks many public transportation options, this was a legitimate concern that had to be solved. It was by the implementation of a special moped license. This law will not begin until November 2018. With it, when a person's regular license is suspended, a separate license can be acquired. The moped license can also be suspended if there are violations.

For people who ride mopeds, motorcycles, cars or any other type of vehicle, it is important to remember that there are consequences for being arrested and convicted for driving while intoxicated. Having a drunk driving lawyer who is well acquainted with all the state laws and changes that are made is essential to a DUI defense. Regardless of the incident and what kind of vehicle was being used at the time, having help from a Pawleys Island South Carolina DUI defense attorney can be imperative.

Source: The Post and Courier, "One year after Haley vetoed it, McMaster signs South Carolina moped safety bill into law," Seanna Adcox, May 22, 2017

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