The Handbook of South Carolina Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Table of Contents
Alcohol and Drugs
South Carolina law prohibits anyone from operating a moving motorized vessel or vessel under sail on the waters of the state while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof.
Penalties include a fine of up to $6,000 and up to three years imprisonment. In addition, a person’s privilege to operate any vessel may be suspended for up to two years. Enrollment in, and successful completion of, an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action course and a South Carolina boating safety course also are required at the person’s expense.
Felony BUI (boating under the influence) carries penalties of up to a $25,000 fine and 25 years imprisonment.
A person who operates a vessel is considered to have given consent (“implied consent”) to a chemical test or analysis of his or her breath, blood, or urine.