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Habitual Offenders

Habitual offenders are those drivers who accumulate three or more convictions for serious offenses within a three-year period or 10 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, canceled 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 or her identity

Once the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) classifies you as a habitual offender, your driving privileges will be suspended for five years.

You may contest the suspension by filing a request with the DMV within 30 days of the date of the DMV's letter to you.

You may request a reduction of the suspension after two years. 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 any other mandatory driver's license suspension that has not yet reached its end date.

You will hear within 30 days if the reduction was granted. If it is not, you may appeal the 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.