Habitual Offenders

Habitual offenders are those drivers who accumulate three or more convictions for serious offenses within a three year period or ten or more four point moving violation convictions during a three year period. That period is measured from date of arrest to date of arrest.

Major driving offenses are:

  1. Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter involving a motor vehicle;
  2. Operating or attempting to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics or drugs, or unlawful alcohol concentration;
  3. Driving or operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner;
  4. Driving a motor vehicle while license, permit or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been suspended, cancelled or revoked;
  5. Any offense punishable as a felony under the motor vehicle laws or any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
  6. Failure of the driver of a motor vehicle involved in any accident resulting in the death or injury of any person to stop close to the scene of the accident and to report his identity.

Once DMV classifies you as a habitual offender your driver’s privilege will be suspended for five years.

You may contest the suspension by filing a request with DMV within thirty days of the date of DMV’s letter to you.

You may request a reduction of the suspension after you have served two years of the five year suspension. To be eligible for a reduction the following conditions must be met:

  1. You must not have a previous habitual offender suspension in South Carolina or another state.
  2. You must not have driven a motor vehicle during the habitual offender suspension period.
  3. You must not have any convictions or pending charges for alcohol or drug violations committed during the habitual offender suspension period.
  4. You must not have convictions of pending charges for major driving offenses (listed in question #3) committed during the habitual offender suspension period.
  5. You must not have any other mandatory driver’s license suspension that has not yet reached its end date.

You will hear within thirty days if the reduction was granted. If it is not you may ‘appeal’ that DMV decision to the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings and have a contested hearing on your request. If a reduction is not granted you may not file for a suspension reduction again.

If a reduction is granted and you are convicted of another major driving offense during the time the five years should have run you will be suspended again for the time your original suspension was reduced.

SC Code 56-1-1010, 56-1-1020, 56-1-1030, 56-1-1090, 56-1-1100, 56-1-1110 and 56-1-1130.