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Push for moped drivers to be charged with DUI

In South Carolina a driver can only be charged with driving under the influence if he or she is operating a motor vehicle. Mopeds are specifically excluded from this law, which means that as it stands now, a moped driver who is over the legal blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent cannot be charged with DUI.

Two South Carolina representatives are hoping to change this and make it a law that moped drivers can also be charged with DUI. However, this is not the first time at least one of these representatives has tried to close this DUI loophole. And again, due to legislative rules, it may not pass.

Rep. Eddie Tallon was one of the lawmakers to introduce the bill last year to make it possible to charge a drunk moped driver with DUI. However, the bill never passed.

Looking to the future, he is not giving up though. Already, he and another lawmaker have pre-filed a bill that, if passed, will make it possible to charge moped drivers with drunk driving.

If passed, this means moped drivers could find themselves being pulled over and accused of driving under the influence. If convicted, this could possibly end up even having an impact on their driver's license and would wind up on their criminal record.

However, just like any DUI charges, in order to be convicted the prosecution must be able to prove that the person's driving was impaired and that he or she was under the influence of alcohol.

What do you think about allowing for moped drivers to be charged with DUI? Why do you think mopeds were excluded from the definition of motor vehicles in the first place? What would be the positive and negative consequences of changing the law?

Source: WBTW, "SC lawmakers try again to close moped DUI loophole," Jan. 2, 2013

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