South Carolina Moped DUI Law

A South Carolina Senate panel moved to close a section of the law regarding the DUI loophole that prevents a person being arrested for DUI if they are driving a moped.  As the law currently stands it is not unlawful to ride a moped under the influence.  An anomaly that most people would likely agree seems to make no sense at all.  But how is that possible if you drive a moped on the road with everyone else that is required to follow the law?

What is a DUI?

Driving under the influence requires that a person commit the following elements (§56-5-2930):

Essentially the law requires that a person be:

  • Driving;
  • A motor vehicle;
  • While under the influence; of
  • Alcohol;/drugs… where they are materially and appreciably impaired

So why are mopeds not included?

The problem comes up when you look at the definition of Motor Vehicle section under §56-5-130 that states:

Every vehicle which is self-propelled, except mopeds, and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, is a “motor vehicle”.

If you look at the elements section above regarding DUI, you will notice that section 2 requires that a person be driving a “motor vehicle” and under the statute mopeds are currently excluded as a motor vehicle, so they do not meet the elements for a DUI, no matter what your level of breath alcohol content.

This bill stands to correct this problem by classifying mopeds as a motor vehicle and therefore making them subject to the elements of a DUI offense.

Charleston DUI Lawyer, South Carolina

If you have been arrested for DUI in Charleston, South Carolina call an experienced and trusted Charleston DUI Lawyer at the Dale Savage Law Firm, today 843-530-7813.

Scroll to Top