With temperatures heating up for summer, more locals and vacationers will be taking advantage of opportunities to ride recreational vehicles, including mopeds. Mopeds can be a cheap and convenient alternative with lower gas mileage and easy parking. For tourists, they provide a fun and easy way to get around Charleston and along the South Carolina coast. When cruising around on a moped, it is important to remember the law.
Laws involving moped use are different from scooters, motorcycles and cars. For one, a moped can be driven by anyone who is over 14-years-old. While you are safer wearing protective gear, helmet laws do not apply to moped drivers, because they only go 25 miles per hour. Whether you own a moped or are considering a moped or scooter use for the summer, it is important to remember that while the laws may be different, common sense still applies. Though you may not face drinking and driving charges while on a moped or scooter, operating any vehicle while intoxicated can place you and others at risk.
Any drinking and driving accident could result in property damage, serious injury, fatalities and even criminal charges, depending upon the circumstances. Moped fatalities are on the rise according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Young people under the age of 21 who live in South Carolina or travel to our state to visit our beaches should be aware that while you are unlikely to face DUI charges, you can can still be arrested and charged with underage drinking while on a scooter. This could result in serious penalties, including fines and jail time.
Source: WMBF News, “Mopeds: know the dangers and the rules,” Paula Caruso, April 25, 2012.