UNDERAGE DRINKING LAWYERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
The legal drinking age in South Carolina is 21.
Parents of teenagers often grapple with the issue of juveniles under 21 violating the legal drinking age in S.C. How many times have you heard parents say any of these:
- “It’s just a beer.”
- “Kids will be kids.”
- “I drank when I was young and I turned out fine.”
- “I’d rather have my kids drinking at my house than out in public somewhere.”
Maybe you yourself have said something similar. The fact is, if an under-21-year-old in South Carolina is even holding a beer, he is breaking the law. If he is in your house and you know about it, you are breaking the law. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and your children from the legal consequences of underage drinking.
South Carolina law on teens and alcohol. Minor in Possession (MIP)
South Carolina’s legal drinking age is 21. Anyone under that age is legally prohibited from possessing or purchasing alcohol. If a police officer believes that a minor has consumed alcohol, he may undertake an alcohol screening test. A first-time offense is a second-degree misdemeanor, with penalties that carry a fine between $100 and $200, up to 30 days in jail, or both, as decided by the judge. Violators are also required to complete an approved alcohol prevention education program that is at least eight hours long. The violator may be ordered to pay up to $150 as tuition for such a program. (South Carolina Code of Laws Ann. Section 61-6-4070(A)&(B).)
Possessing a fake ID or using a fake ID.
A minor who misrepresents the minor’s age to buy or consume alcohol will be fined between $100 and $200, ordered to serve up to 30 days in jail, or both, as decided by the judge. (South Carolina Code of Laws Ann. Section 61-4-60.)
Minors under 21 Driving under the Influence
South Carolina Has A Zero-Tolerance Policy for Underage Drinking
Any person under the age of 21 who drives a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol faces a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving (DUI) in Columbia South Carolina. Underage drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration of .02 can be charged with DUI.
Consequences of Underage DUI
If you are under 21 and your blood alcohol (BAC) is at least .02 and less than .08
- License (or permit) suspended or withheld for three months for a first offense; six months for a second offense within five years.
- License suspended for six months if breath test (Datamaster test) is refused during a first offense; one-year suspension for a second offense within five years.
If you are under 21 and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher, you may be arrested for driving under the influence and prosecuted using the law under the SC state statute. Our atto
Underage DUI Convictions
A conviction for underage drinking can have lasting consequences.
- A student who has been convicted and/or pled guilty to an alcohol or drug-related offense will not be eligible for the LIFE scholarship after the expiration of one academic year from the date of the adjudication, conviction, or plea.
- A driver who is over the age of 18 but under 21 charged with DUI may additionally be charged with child endangerment and subject to additional criminal penalties if they are carrying a passenger younger than 16.
- A conviction for underage drinking and driving may ruin potential career opportunities.
Contact a DUI Attorney for Underage Drinking Arrest
South Carolina’s strict zero-tolerance policy and the future implications of an underage drinking conviction make it critical that you contact a South Carolina underage drinking lawyer to protect your rights. The Criminal Defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC provide a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. Call us today to see how we can help.
We invite potential clients to contact us during normal business hours by calling (803) 252-4800 to discuss their unique concerns. They may also contact us online. We offer evening and weekend appointments by request only. We accept all major credit cards.