20-183.7A. Penalties applicable to license holders and suspension or revocation of license for safety violations.

(a) Kinds of Violations. - The civil penalty schedule established in this section applies to safety self-inspectors, safety inspection stations, and safety inspection mechanics. The schedule categorizes safety violations into serious (Type I), minor (Type II), and technical (Type III) violations. A serious violation is a violation of this Part or a rule adopted to implement this Part that directly affects the safety or emissions reduction benefits of the safety inspection program. A minor violation is a violation of this Part or a rule adopted to implement this Part that reflects negligence or carelessness in conducting a safety inspection or complying with the safety inspection requirements but does not directly affect the safety benefits or emission reduction benefits of the safety inspection program. A technical violation is a violation that is not a serious violation, a minor violation, or another type of offense under this Part.

(b) Penalty Schedule. - The Division must take the following action for a violation:

(1) Type I. - For a first or second Type I violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and suspend the license of the business for 180 days. For a third or subsequent Type I violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) and revoke the license of the business for two years. For a first or second Type I violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and suspend the mechanic's license for six months. For a third or subsequent Type I violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and revoke the mechanic's license for two years.

(2) Type II. - For a first or second Type II violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00). For a third or subsequent Type II violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and suspend the license of the business for 90 days. For a first or second Type II violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). For a third or subsequent Type II violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and suspend the mechanic's license for 90 days.

(3) Type III. - For a first or second Type III violation within seven years by a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic, send a warning letter. For a third or subsequent Type III violation within seven years by the same safety license holder, assess a civil penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

(c) Station or Self-Inspector Responsibility. - It is the responsibility of a safety inspection station and a safety self-inspector to supervise the safety inspection mechanics it employs. A violation by a safety inspection mechanic is considered a violation by the station or self-inspector for whom the mechanic is employed. The Division may stay a term of suspension for a first occurrence of a Type I violation for a station if the station agrees to follow the reasonable terms and conditions of the stay as determined by the Division. In determining whether to suspend a first occurrence violation for a station, the Division may consider the supervision provided by the station over the individual or individuals who committed the violation, action that has been taken to remedy future violations, or prior knowledge of the station as to the acts committed by the individual or individuals who committed the violation, or a combination of these factors. The monetary penalty shall not be stayed or reduced.

(d) Multiple Violations in a Single Safety Inspection. - If a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic commits two or more violations in the course of a single safety inspection, the Division shall take only the action specified for the most significant violation.

(d1) Multiple Violations in Separate Safety Inspections. - In the case of two or more violations committed in separate safety inspections, considered at one time, the Division shall consider each violation as a separate occurrence and shall impose a separate penalty for each violation as a first, second, or third or subsequent violation as found in the applicable penalty schedule. The Division may in its discretion direct that any suspensions for the first, second, or third or subsequent violations run concurrently. If the Division does not direct that the suspensions run concurrently, they shall run consecutively. Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit a reviewing court's ability to affirm, reverse, remand, or modify the Division's decisions, whether discretionary or otherwise, pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(e) Mechanic Training. - A safety inspection mechanic whose license has been suspended or revoked must retake the course required under G.S. 20-183.4 and successfully complete the course before the mechanic's license can be reinstated. Failure to successfully complete this course continues the period of suspension or revocation until the course is completed successfully. (2001-504, s. 12; 2013-302, s. 2.)