State v. Sweat, No. 26763.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtBeatty
Citation688 S.E.2d 569,386 S.C. 339
PartiesThe STATE, Petitioner, v. Reginald Craig SWEAT, Respondent. and The State, Petitioner, v. Arthur Bryant, III, Respondent.
Decision Date25 January 2010
Docket NumberNo. 26763.
688 S.E.2d 569
386 S.C. 339
The STATE, Petitioner,
v.
Reginald Craig SWEAT, Respondent. and
The State, Petitioner,
v.
Arthur Bryant, III, Respondent.
No. 26763.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard November 4, 2009.
Decided January 25, 2010.

[688 S.E.2d 570]

General Counsel Robert E. Bogan and Assistant General Counsel Rachel D. Erwin, both of Blythewood, for petitioner.

Richard Pearce and Benjamin Moore, both of Aiken, for respondents.

R. Hawthorne Barrett and Danny C. Crowe, both of Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney, of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae Municipal Association of South Carolina.

Justice BEATTY.


This Court granted the State's petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Sweat, 379 S.C. 367, 665 S.E.2d 645 (Ct.App.2008), in which the Court of Appeals interpreted section 56-5-4140 of the South Carolina Code,1 a statute regulating the maximum gross weight of vehicles driven on South Carolina roads. We affirm as modified.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The parties agreed to the relevant facts underlying this case. On February 14, 2006, Reginald Craig Sweat, a sanitation truck driver for the City of Aiken, was stopped and cited by a State Transport Police (STP) officer for exceeding the allowable gross weight for the three-axle sanitation truck he was driving. According to the citation, the vehicle weighed 57,100 pounds, which the officer claimed exceeded the allowable gross weight of 50,600 pounds. The 50,600 pound amount was calculated based on an initial three-axle amount of 46,000 pounds plus a ten percent scale tolerance of 4,600.

On April 10, 2006, a different STP officer stopped and cited Arthur Bryant, III, another driver for the City of Aiken, for driving the same sanitation truck in excess of the allowable gross vehicle weight. The citation indicates the vehicle weighed 56,900 pounds, which exceeded the allowable gross weight of 50,600.

At the time the STP issued the citations, section 56-5-4140 provided in relevant part:

(1)(a) The gross weight of a vehicle or combination of vehicles, operated or moved upon any interstate, highway or section of highway shall not exceed:

688 S.E.2d 571
 (1) Single-unit vehicle with two axles
                 ................. 35,000 lbs.
                 (2) Single-unit vehicle with three axles
                 .................. 46,000 lbs.
                 (3) Single-unit vehicle with four axles
                 ................... 63,500 lbs.
                

Except, on the interstate, vehicles must meet axle spacing requirements and corresponding maximum overall gross weights, not to exceed 63,500 lbs., in accordance with the table in (b) plus tolerances.

 (4) Single unit vehicle with five or more
                 axles ....... 65,000 lbs.
                

Except, on the interstate, vehicles must meet axle spacing requirements and corresponding maximum overall gross weights, not to exceed 65,000 lbs., in accordance with the table in (b) plus tolerances.

 (5) Combination of vehicles with three axles
                 ......... 50,000 lbs.
                 (6) Combination of vehicles with four axles
                 .......... 65,000 lbs.
                 (7) Combination of vehicles with five or
                 more axles ... 73,280 lbs.
                

The gross weight imposed upon any highway or section of highway other than the interstate by two or more consecutive axles in tandem articulated from a common attachment to the vehicle and spaced not less than forty inches nor more than ninety-six inches apart shall not exceed thirty-six thousand pounds, and no one axle of any such group of two or more consecutive axles shall exceed the load permitted for a single axle. The load imposed on the highway by two consecutive axles, individually attached to the vehicle and spaced not less than forty inches nor more than ninety-six inches apart, shall not exceed thirty-six thousand pounds and no one axle of any such group of two consecutive axles shall exceed the load permitted for a single axle.

The ten percent enforcement tolerance specified in Section 56-5-4160 applies to the vehicle weight limits specified in this section except, the gross weight on a single axle operated on the interstate may not exceed 20,000 pounds, including all enforcement tolerances; the gross weight on a tandem axle operated on the interstate may not exceed 35,200 pounds, including all enforcement tolerances; and the overall gross weight for vehicles operated on the interstate may not exceed 75,185 pounds, including all enforcement tolerances except as provided in (b).

(b) Vehicles with an overall maximum gross weight in excess of 75,185 pounds may operate upon any highway or section of highway in the Interstate System up to an overall maximum of 80,000 pounds in accordance with the following:

The weight imposed upon the highway by any group of two or more consecutive axles may not, unless specially permitted by the Department of Public Safety exceed an overall gross weight produced by the application of the following formula:

 W = 500 (LN/N-1 + 12N + 36)
                

In the formula W equals overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest 500 pounds, L equals distance in feet between the extreme of any group of two or more consecutive axles, and N equals number of axles in the group under consideration.

As an exception, two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of 68,000 pounds if the overall distance between the first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandem axles is 36 feet or more. The formula is expressed by the following table:

 Distance in feet Maximum load in pounds carried on any
                 between the group of 2 or more consecutive axles
                 extremes of any
                 group of 2 or more
                 consecutive axles
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 2 axles 3 axles 4 axles 5 axles 6 axles 7 axles
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 4 35,200
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 5 35,200
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 6 35,200
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                
688 S.E.2d 572
 7 35,200
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 8 and less 35,200 35,200
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 more than 8 38,000 42,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 9 39,000 42,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 10 40,000 43,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 11 44,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 12 45,000 50,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 13 45,500 50,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 14 46,500 51,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 15 47,500 52,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 16 48,000 52,500 58,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 17 48,500 53,500 58,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 18 49,500 54,000 59,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 19 50,500 54,500 60,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 20 51,000 55,500 60,500 66,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 21 51,500 56,000 61,000 66,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 22 52,500 56,500 61,500 67,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 23 53,000 57,500 62,500 68,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 24 54,000 58,000 63,000 68,500 74,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 25 54,500 58,500 63,500 69,000 74,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 26 55,500 59,500 64,000 69,500 75,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 27 56,000 60,000 65,000 70,000 75,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 28 57,000 60,500 65,500 71,000 76,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 29 57,500 61,500 66,000 71,500 77,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 30 58,500 62,000 66,500 72,000 77,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 31 59,000 62,500 67,500 72,500 78,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 32 60,000 63,500 68,000 73,000 78,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 33 64,000 68,500 74,000 79,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 34 64,500 69,000 74,500 80,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 35 65,500 70,000 75,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 36 68,000 70,500 75,500
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 37 68,000 71,000 76,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 38 68,000 71,500 77,000
                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 39 68,000 72,500 77,500
...

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96 practice notes
  • Jolly v. Gen. Elec. Co., 5858
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 1, 2021
    ...original) (quoting State v. Sweat, 379 S.C. 367, 377, 382, 665 S.E.2d 645, 651, 654 (Ct. App. 2008), aff'd as modified on other grounds, 386 S.C. 339, 688 S.E.2d 569 (2010))); S.C. Dep't of Consumer Affs. v. Rent-A-Ctr., Inc., 345 S.C. 251, 255-56, 547 S.E.2d 881, 883-84 (Ct. App. 2001) ("T......
  • Crenshaw v. Erskine Coll., Appellate Case No. 2018-001926
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • September 9, 2020
    ...to give effect to specific terms over any general language. RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 203(c) (1979) ; see also State v. Sweat , 386 S.C. 339, 347, 688 S.E.2d 569, 573 (2010) (reciting "the statutory construction rule that a court must follow a specific provision over general langu......
  • Jolly v. Gen. Elec. Co., Appellate Case No. 2017-002611
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 1, 2021
    ...original) (quoting State v. Sweat , 379 S.C. 367, 377, 382, 665 S.E.2d 645, 651, 654 (Ct. App. 2008), aff'd as modified on other grounds , 386 S.C. 339, 688 S.E.2d 569 (2010) )); S.C. Dep't of Consumer Affs. v. Rent-A-Ctr., Inc. , 345 S.C. 251, 255–56, 547 S.E.2d 881, 883–84 (Ct. App. 2001)......
  • Greenville Cnty. Republican Party Exec. Comm. v. State, C.A. No. 6:10–cv–01407–JMC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • March 30, 2011
    ...not allow parties that choose to use the primary method of nomination to operate closed primaries. See State of South Carolina v. Sweat, 386 S.C. 339, 350, 688 S.E.2d 569, 575 (2010) (“All rules of statutory construction are subservient to the one that the legislative intent must prevail if......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
96 cases
  • Jolly v. Gen. Elec. Co., 5858
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 1, 2021
    ...original) (quoting State v. Sweat, 379 S.C. 367, 377, 382, 665 S.E.2d 645, 651, 654 (Ct. App. 2008), aff'd as modified on other grounds, 386 S.C. 339, 688 S.E.2d 569 (2010))); S.C. Dep't of Consumer Affs. v. Rent-A-Ctr., Inc., 345 S.C. 251, 255-56, 547 S.E.2d 881, 883-84 (Ct. App. 2001) ("T......
  • Crenshaw v. Erskine Coll., Appellate Case No. 2018-001926
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • September 9, 2020
    ...to give effect to specific terms over any general language. RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 203(c) (1979) ; see also State v. Sweat , 386 S.C. 339, 347, 688 S.E.2d 569, 573 (2010) (reciting "the statutory construction rule that a court must follow a specific provision over general langu......
  • Jolly v. Gen. Elec. Co., Appellate Case No. 2017-002611
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 1, 2021
    ...original) (quoting State v. Sweat , 379 S.C. 367, 377, 382, 665 S.E.2d 645, 651, 654 (Ct. App. 2008), aff'd as modified on other grounds , 386 S.C. 339, 688 S.E.2d 569 (2010) )); S.C. Dep't of Consumer Affs. v. Rent-A-Ctr., Inc. , 345 S.C. 251, 255–56, 547 S.E.2d 881, 883–84 (Ct. App. 2001)......
  • Greenville Cnty. Republican Party Exec. Comm. v. State, C.A. No. 6:10–cv–01407–JMC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • March 30, 2011
    ...not allow parties that choose to use the primary method of nomination to operate closed primaries. See State of South Carolina v. Sweat, 386 S.C. 339, 350, 688 S.E.2d 569, 575 (2010) (“All rules of statutory construction are subservient to the one that the legislative intent must prevail if......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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