Beer laws are incredibly difficult to keep up with, as they vary from state to state. South Carolina is no different. What are South Carolina’s beer laws? When can you buy it? What are some other things you should know?
We will cover all of this in great detail in the remainder of the article. Continue reading for all of your answers to South Carolina beer laws.
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Is South Carolina a dry state?
A ‘dry’ area is one where alcohol is prohibited or greatly restricted. There are no dry states in the United States, meaning every state can sell alcohol.
South Carolina is not a dry state and it has no dry counties. You can buy beer anywhere in South Carolina (unless it’s Sunday).
There are laws restricting you from buying beer or alcohol at specific times, though – plenty more on that to come.
Does South Carolina have any dry counties?
Are there any counties in South Carolina where beer is not sold?
There are no dry counties in South Carolina.
Despite Sunday sales restrictions, you can buy beer in South Carolina in any county at most times of the day.
When can you buy beer in South Carolina?
There are lawful stipulations regarding when you can buy beer in South Carolina.
On-premise locations including restaurants and bars allow beer sales Monday through Saturday during hours ranging from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., but not on Sundays. Off-premise locations can sell beer 24 hours a day, except on Sundays, unless allowed by referendum.
Still unsure of when you can buy beer in South Carolina? Continue reading for more specific information.
Can you buy beer on Sunday in South Carolina?
Sunday beer sales are banned statewide in South Carolina. However, some counties and cities have been granted Sunday sales permission through referendums.
Both on-premise and off-premise sales can happen on Sunday in the following counties and cities.
South Carolina counties that can sell beer on Sundays are:
- Some of Richland
South Carolina cities that can sell beer on Sundays include:
- Rock Hill
- Daniel Island
- Tega Cay
- New Ellenton
Beer cannot be purchased on Christmas in South Carolina.
Any other day of the week, beer can be purchased for off-premise consumption 24 hours a day. On-premise consumption laws differ from county to county and city to city.
When do bars close in South Carolina?
What time do the bars close in South Carolina?
The statewide time for bars to stop selling alcohol in South Carolina is 2 a.m. However, some counties and cities permit bars to stay open until 4 a.m. every day. Bars that follow statewide regulations close between midnight and 2 a.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, these bars close at midnight.
Be sure to check the bar’s website or give them a call to confirm hours of operation, as some will close earlier than is required.
Where can you buy beer in South Carolina?
You can buy beer in South Carolina in a lot of places. It’s a state where you can walk into a grocery store or convenience store and grab a 6-pack of beer, no problem.
Places to buy beer in South Carolina include bars and restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and breweries and taprooms. However, you cannot buy beer at liquor stores in South Carolina.
These places are all open Monday-Saturday at different times depending on the day. Depending on the county or city they’re in, they might even be open on Sunday.
Bars and restaurants
Bars and restaurants in South Carolina are allowed to sell beer from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday. Bars and restaurants stop serving beer at midnight on Saturday and can not sell on Sunday unless permitted by the county. These locations offer beer on draft and in bottles and cans.
You can not purchase beer from bars or restaurants for off-premise consumption.
Statewide, gas stations can sell beer 24 hours a day, Monday through Saturday. Unless the gas station is in a county or city that allows it, beer cannot be sold in gas stations on Sundays.
You’ll find 12 oz. cans or bottles, as well as 19.2 oz cans and 24 oz. cans at gas stations.
You can buy beer at grocery stores in South Carolina. You can buy it from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sundays – unless the grocery store is in a city or county that allows Sunday alcohol sales.
Grocery stores sell alcohol strictly for off-premise consumption, meaning you can’t crack a beer in aisle 12 of Walmart.
Package and liquor stores
Package and liquor stores in South Carolina do not sell beer. These stores are state-run and serve only liquor and high ABV wines.
These stores are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and are closed Sunday unless permitted by local governance.
Breweries and taprooms
Breweries and taprooms follow the rest of the restaurant and bar guidelines for hours of operation.
Breweries and taprooms in South Carolina can sell beer from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, but a lot of breweries open or close at different times. Many breweries are closed on Mondays. Breweries, in counties that allow it, can sell beer starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Breweries and taprooms sell beers on draft for on-premises consumption, and growlers and packaged beer in bottles and cans to go. They also sell kegs.
Can you get beer delivered in South Carolina?
Currently, you can not get beer delivered in South Carolina. That might change soon, though.
A bill that passed the South Carolina House in 2021 to allow for beer delivery and curbside pickup of beer from restaurants is set to be addressed by the state senate by May 12, 2022, at the end of a three-week session.
What is the minimum drinking age in South Carolina?
While the minimum drinking age in the United States is 21, there are exceptions for South Carolina where minors are allowed to have alcohol under specific circumstances.
The minimum drinking age in South Carolina is 21.
Minors are permitted to drink alcohol for religious purposes or with their parent or guardian inside their home.
Places that sell beer or alcohol are not permitted to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
Can minors drink beer in South Carolina with parents?
In South Carolina, minors can have a drink with their parents.
A minor can legally have a beer with their parent or guardian in South Carolina if it was purchased by their parent or guardian and is consumed inside their home.
Drinking laws in South Carolina
Drinking laws for individuals in South Carolina are statewide and don’t vary from county to county. We’ll look at open-container laws and drinking and driving laws in the state of South Carolina.
In South Carolina, it is illegal to carry an open container outside of an on-premise location. You can transport open containers like growlers in your vehicle, in a luggage compartment. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. For 21-year-olds and older, the BAC limit for driving is 0.08%.
South Carolina has a zero-tolerance law for drinking and driving in place for those under the age of 21.
Can you buy growlers and other unsealed beer containers in South Carolina?
Growlers are allowed in South Carolina.
Growlers can be filled at breweries or taprooms but are required to be transported in a luggage compartment of a vehicle when driving.
Can you carry or transport an open container of alcohol in South Carolina?
It’s illegal to have an open container of beer or other alcohol while driving or walking in South Carolina.
Containers like growlers are still transportable inside a vehicle if they are stored inside the trunk or separate compartment. Open containers are only permittable during special events where the city has issued a respective permit.
Drinking and driving in South Carolina follows similar laws to many other states. It’s important to know the differences between drinking and driving under the age of 21 and drinking and driving as an adult.
The main difference is that there is a zero-tolerance law for drinking and driving under the age of 21. This means that it is unlawful for anyone under 21 with a BAC of 0.02% to drive. For those over 21, the legal limit for drinking and driving is 0.08% BAC.
Under 21 years old
South Carolina has a zero-tolerance law for drinking and driving in place for people under the age of 21.
Driving with a BAC of 0.02% while under the age of 21 is illegal and will result in a DUI. This means that generally, anyone under 21 will be considered under the influence after one standard drink, hence the term zero-tolerance.
If you are penalized under the zero-tolerance law, you will not be prosecuted for criminal DUI.
Anyone under the age of 21 charged with DUI will have their license suspended or withheld for up to three months for the first offense and up to six months for a second offense.
21 years and older
According to the South Carolina Department of Safety, there are specific rules for driving under the influence.
South Carolina law prohibits driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
Driving in South Carolina with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is illegal for all ages. Violation of this law results in a range of penalties, including:
- (1st offense) $400 minimum fine and/or imprisonment of 2-30 days, as well as a suspended license
- (2nd offense) $2,100- 10,744 fine and imprisonment of five days to one year and a suspended license for one year
- (3rd offense) $3,800-13,234 fine and imprisonment of 60 days to three years with a 2-year suspension of your license
- A third offense within five years of the first offense results in a license suspension of four years. A third or subsequent offense within 10 years of the first offense could result in confiscation of the vehicle.
- (4th offense) Imprisonment for1-5 years and permanent loss of your license
Summary of South Carolina’s beer and alcohol laws in 2023
In South Carolina, you can buy beer Monday through Saturday from bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations. Beer is sold from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. depending on the location. There are no Sunday beer sales, except for in a handful of counties and cities. You’ll find cans, bottles, kegs, drafts, and growlers, but delivery is not an option.