South Carolina’s Target Zero Project
In July, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and the Department of Transportation announced that it again operating its Target Zero program. The point of the project is to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero. In order to do so, 24 highway patrol troopers are going to focus on what they have determined are the three main violations that lead to deaths on the road.
In addition to raising awareness about how to stay safe on the roads, law enforcement will be out in full force to ticket drivers who are breaking the law in these three ways:
South Carolina operates on an “absolute” speed law. That means that anytime you exceed the limit, regardless of whether or not it was considered “safe” for you to do so, you are breaking the law. A speeding ticket could cost you between $15 and $200 in fines alone. Especially in cases where law enforcement officers deem you have committed reckless driving, you could face jail time and license suspension.
A DUI charge in South Carolina is a serious offense that can have lifelong repercussions. A first offense without any aggravating factors can lead to up to 90 days in jail, a six-month license suspension and fines upward of $1,000. Multiple offenses will mean you have to use an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. As troopers with Target Zero may be cracking down on pulling over drivers suspected of drunken driving, you should know your rights. South Carolina has an implied consent law, which states that you must submit to a chemical test or else you will automatically lose your license and have to pay a fine.
- Seatbelt Use
Under South Carolina law, every occupant in a vehicle must have a seat belt fastened while the car is in use. The driver is responsible for making sure passengers 17 and younger are buckled in. Older occupants are responsible for themselves, which means that a law enforcement officer would ticket those 18 and older instead of the driver. Seatbelt laws in South Carolina are enforced on a primary basis. Therefore, law enforcement officers can pull over a vehicle solely based on a seatbelt violation.
If you are pulled over and cited for any of these violations, you do have the right to defend yourself. Our attorneys at Nosal & Jeter, LLP are well-versed in South Carolina’s traffic laws and have successfully protected the rights of many people accused of infractions.