View Amendment Current Amendment: 7311AHB11.docx to Bill 225     Senator CROMER proposed the following amendment (MS\7311AHB11):
    Amend the bill, as and if amended, by deleting in its entirety Section 56-5-3890(D), as contained in SECTION 1, beginning on page 2, beginning on line 37, and inserting:

/ (D)(1)     A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction:
            (a)     for a first offense, must be fined twenty dollars and pay a twenty-five dollar Trauma Care Fund surcharge. The twenty dollar fine is subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges, except as provided in item (2);
            (b)     for a second offense within five years of a prior offense, must be fined twenty-five dollars, pay a twenty-five dollar Trauma Care Fund surcharge, and have two points assessed against the person's motor vehicle operating record, no part of which may be waived, reduced, or suspended. The twenty-five dollar fine is subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges; and
            (c)     for a third offense or subsequent offense within five years of a prior offense, must be fined seventy-five dollars, pay a twenty-five dollar Trauma Care Fund surcharge, and have four points assessed against the person's motor vehicle operating record, no part of which may be waived, reduced, or suspended. The seventy-five dollar fine is subject to all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges.
        (2)(a)     For a first offense, instead of the penalty provided in subsection (D)(1)(a), the person may successfully complete a driver's education program within sixty days of the person's conviction date, which specifically contains, in whole or in part, education regarding distracted or inattentive driving.
            (b)     The person shall select a program approved by the Department of Public Safety's Office of Highway Safety. The Office of Highway Safety may approve more than one program, and such programs may be conducted by classroom, computer, or Internet. The Office of Highway Safety shall post information regarding the approved programs on its website.
            (c)     The person shall indicate to the judge at the time of conviction that the person intends to successfully complete a program instead of the penalty. The judge shall instruct the person as to how the person is to comply with the requirements of this item. Notwithstanding Section 56-7-30, the court shall retain the records and audit copy of the traffic ticket for the violation until the judge has made a determination as to whether the person has successfully completed the program.
            (d)     The person shall return to the court within sixty days of the conviction date. At that time, the person shall present an original certificate from the program indicating that the person has successfully completed the program. Also, the person shall sign an affidavit provided by the court swearing or affirming that the person has successfully completed the program.
            (e)     If the judge determines that the person has successfully completed the program, the judge shall waive the fine, the Trauma Care Fund surcharge, and all applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges, except ten dollars that shall be used exclusively by the court to offset the costs associated with administering the person's compliance with this item. The court shall remit the records and audit copy of the traffic ticket to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days indicating a violation of this section without any points assessed against the person's motor vehicle operating record. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall indicate a violation of this section on the person's motor vehicle operating record without any points assessed.
            (f)     If the judge determines that the person has failed to successfully complete the program, the judge shall impose the fine, the Trauma Care Fund surcharge, and all other applicable court costs, assessments, and surcharges. The court shall remit the records and audit copy of the traffic ticket to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days indicating a violation of this section. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall indicate a violation of this section on the person's motor vehicle operating record.
            (g)     A person is not permitted to complete a program instead of the penalty if the person has been convicted of a prior violation of this section. Only those violations that occurred within a period of five years, including and immediately preceding the date of the last violation, constitute prior violations within the meaning of this subsection.    
        (3)     If the person does not subsequently violate this section within one year from the date of conviction, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall remove the points assessed against the person's motor vehicle operating record. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall not remove an indication of the violation of this section from the person's motor vehicle operating record. For purposes of this section, if the Department of Motor Vehicles has not received a ticket or some other notice from a court one year from the date of conviction indicating that the person has subsequently violated this section, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall remove the points assessed.
        (4)     The Trauma Care Fund surcharge must be deposited with the city or county treasurer, as applicable, for remittance to the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall deposit the Trauma Care Fund surcharge in the South Carolina State Trauma Care Fund. The Trauma Care Fund surcharge must not be used by the Department of Health and Environmental Control for the payment of the department's administrative or operating expenses or for any purpose other than providing financial aid to participating trauma care providers and grants related to trauma care in this State. The Trauma Care Fund surcharge is not subject to the provisions of Section 44-61-520(G).
        (5)     During the first one hundred eighty days after this section's effective date, law enforcement officers shall issue only warnings for violations of this section.     /
    Amend the bill further, Section 56-1-720, as contained in SECTION 2, by deleting lines 42 and 43 on page 6 and line 1 on page 7, and inserting:
/     Using a wireless electronic communication
        device to compose, send, or read a text-based
        communication while operating a motor vehicle,
        second offense...............................................2
    Using a wireless electronic communication
        device to compose, send, or read a text-based
        communication while operating a motor vehicle,
        third or subsequent offense ................................4." /

    Renumber sections to conform.
    Amend title to conform.