Understanding Driver’s License Consequences
Speed limits are intended to make society safer and to help traffic flow more smoothly. Those who disregard the posted speed limit face consequences in the form of speeding tickets, and often license and insurance repercussions. South Carolina funds its state courts and Criminal Justice Academy with fees and fines added to the cost of tickets and convictions. On misdemeanor traffic violations, the state requires municipalities to add 107.5 percent of their local fine to a ticket’s cost. The state also adds on an additional, non-negotiable surcharge of $25. An additional $5 surcharge will specifically fund police training.
Speeding up to 10 mph over the posted limit: could result in local fines ranging between $15 and $25 while state-required additions increase that to $61.13 to $81.88. The state’s “recommended roadside bond” is $81.50.
Speeding 11-15 mph over the limit: can result in local fines ranging between $25 and $50 and the state recommends $133.
Speeding 15-24 mph over the limit: increases the local fines between $50 and $75 and surcharges increase that to $ 133.75 to $185.63. The state recommends $185.
Speeding 25mph or more over the limit: local fines can be $75 to $200. Surcharges will increase that to $185.63 to $445. The state of South Carolina recommends $355.
Aside from fines, surcharges, and education courses, the most common penalties for traffic violations are license suspensions and revocations. Sometimes, the DMV withdraws or cancels licenses, too. The result of this system is higher ticket costs. Now combine higher ticket costs with departments giving officers a quota of tickets to issue. High ticket prices means money for the state or municipality and quotas may encourage officers to make stops that aren’t necessary. This combination reflects poorly on law enforcement and causes the public’s confidence and respect for police officers to deteriorate. The other side of the argument is that quota or not, troopers aren’t making the cases up—they still have to catch you breaking the law before they write you a ticket.
The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill 99-0 in April that would ban law enforcement agencies from setting quotas. The bill provides for protection for officers or others who blow the whistle when a department implements a quota. This measure is similar to the one passed in Missouri in May, as well as initiatives debated in Florida and Arizona last year.
This bill sparked more support following the Walter Scott incident in South Carolina, where Officer Michal Slager pulled Scott over for a brake light violation in April of 2015. Mr. Slager shot and killed Scott as they struggled and Scott tried to run away. The defense team for Officer Slager said he was trying to meet his quota of pulling over three drivers a day.
When people break the law, they should face consequences. But allowing law enforcement agencies to decide ahead of time how many citations its officer must hand out is controversial. Combine this with high ticket prices, and it gives drivers an even higher incentive to drive safely on the roads. However, in the event you do get a speeding ticket, contact a professional who may be able to help you alleviate some of the heavy consequences of getting a speeding ticket or traffic violation.