Legislators in the South Carolina House cleared a bill Wednesday that would end an automatic six-month drivers license suspension for anyone caught with an open container of liquor.
Under current law, anyone ticketed for an open container of liquor receives a suspension automatically for six months, but there is no similar rule for beer and other alcohol. Legislators want to make the punishment consistent, saying the liquor laws are a throwback to the time of moonshine smuggling.
Rep. Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) said drivers would still be punished for DUIs.
We’re not giving anybody a break for driving under the influence, or while impaired by drugs, or anything else. It’s just if (the possession charge) is unrelated to driving, you’re not going to lose your drivers license.
The bill passed on a voice vote. It will likely head to the Senate after a third reading Thursday.
–The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation Tuesday that would allow local oil distributors to blend ethanol into gasoline, rather than larger oil companies. Smaller distributors are trying to get a share of a 45 cent-per-gallon tax credit for blending ethanol into fuel.