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Liquor law in South Carolina

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Summary: Drinking Age in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of the states in the USA that sets the legal drinking age at 21 years old. This means that it is illegal for anyone younger than 21 to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.

Below are some key points related to the drinking age in South Carolina:

Legal Drinking Age

  • In South Carolina, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. This applies to all alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and hard liquor.
  • Anyone who is caught violating this law can face fines, community service, or even jail time.

Exceptions to the Rule

  • There are some exceptions to the legal drinking age in South Carolina. For example, individuals who are at least 18 years old and actively serving in the military are allowed to purchase and consume alcohol.
  • Additionally, minors who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian can also consume alcohol in certain situations, such as in a private residence.

Penalties for Violating Drinking Age Laws

  • If someone is caught drinking underage in South Carolina, they can face a range of penalties.
  • For a first offense, the offender may have their license suspended for 90 days and may be required to pay a fine of up to $100.
  • A second offense can result in a license suspension of up to six months and a fine of up to $200.
  • Subsequent offenses can result in even stricter penalties, including jail time.

Overall, it is important for individuals in South Carolina and across the USA to be aware of the legal drinking age and the potential consequences of drinking underage.

Brief Summary: Driving and Alcohol Laws in South Carolina

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in South Carolina. The state has strict laws regarding the consumption and possession of alcohol while driving. In this article, we will discuss the key aspects of driving and alcohol laws in South Carolina.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit

The legal BAC limit in South Carolina is 0.08% for drivers aged 21 and above, and 0.02% for drivers under 21 years. Commercial drivers are subjected to a stricter limit of 0.04%. If a driver is found to have exceeded the limit, they may face suspension of their driver's license, fines, and even imprisonment.

Implied Consent Law

South Carolina has an implied consent law, which means that anyone who drives on the state's roads automatically consent to a BAC test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing to take a BAC test may result in immediate suspension of the driver's license.

Open Container Law

It is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle in South Carolina. The law applies to both drivers and passengers, and violation of this law may result in fines and other penalties.

DUI Penalties

The penalties for DUI in South Carolina vary depending on the severity of the offense and the number of prior convictions. Some of the common penalties include suspension of the driver's license, fines, community service, and imprisonment. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties, including mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

Underage Drinking and Driving

South Carolina has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, and the penalties can be severe. Drivers under 21 years who are found to be driving under the influence may face suspension of their driver's license and other penalties.

In conclusion, South Carolina has strict laws regarding driving and alcohol, and violations of these laws can result in severe penalties. It is important to always prioritize safety and never drink and drive.

Blood Alcohol Concentration in South Carolina

BAC level Effects
0.02% Some loss of judgment, relaxation, slight body warmth, altered mood, and decreased visual acuity.
0.05% Exaggerated behavior, may have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes), impaired judgment, usually good feeling, lowered alertness, release of inhibition.
0.08% Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), harder to detect danger; judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired.
0.10% Clear deterioration of reaction time and control; slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinking.
0.15% Far less muscle control than normal, vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol), major loss of balance, and major impairment of judgment and perception.
0.20% All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring oneself by falls or other accidents.
0.30% Stupor, consciousness may fade or coma may occur.
0.40% Coma, and possibly death due to respiratory arrest.

In South Carolina, as in every state in the United States, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. If a driver is caught with a BAC level above the legal limit, they could face severe legal consequences, including fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.

It is important to note that alcohol affects everyone differently, and there is no way to predict how much alcohol a person can consume and still be below the legal limit. Factors such as weight, age, and gender can all play a role in how a person's body processes alcohol.

The BAC levels listed above are general guidelines and should not be used as a basis for determining whether it is safe to drive. It is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid driving after consuming any amount of alcohol.

In addition to driving under the influence laws, South Carolina also has laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. The legal drinking age in South Carolina is 21, and it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol.

Overall, it is important for anyone who consumes alcohol to do so responsibly and to abide by all state and federal laws related to alcohol consumption.

Open container law in South Carolina

South Carolina's open container law prohibits the possession of open containers of alcohol in vehicles. It is illegal for drivers or passengers to have an open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle, regardless of whether they are consuming the alcohol or not.

Here are some key points about the open container law in South Carolina:

  • The law applies to all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats.
  • The law does not apply to passengers in commercial vehicles, such as buses or limousines, if the alcohol is being transported for a commercial purpose.
  • Violations of the open container law can result in fines and points on the driver's license.
  • In addition to the open container law, South Carolina also has strict DUI laws and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Overall, it is important for drivers and passengers to be aware of South Carolina's open container law and to avoid possessing open containers of alcohol in vehicles.

South Carolina Liquor Sale Open Hours

City Store Open Hours
Charleston Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Columbia Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Greenville Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Mount Pleasant Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Myrtle Beach Mon-Sun 9am-7pm
Spartanburg Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm

South Carolina law allows retail liquor stores to operate from Monday to Saturday, between 9am and 7pm, and on Sundays from 12pm to 6pm. However, local ordinances may restrict these hours further, so it is recommended to check with the individual store or city for any additional operating limitations.

In Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Mount Pleasant, and Spartanburg, liquor stores operate under the standard state hours. However, in Myrtle Beach, liquor stores are open every day from 9am to 7pm.

Note that in South Carolina, grocery stores and convenience stores may sell beer and wine during extended hours, including on Sundays, but they are not allowed to sell liquor.