Legal Recourse for Victims of DUI Accidents in South Carolina

In South Carolina, drunk driving accidents are a serious concern, posing a significant risk to motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a DUI-related crash, it’s essential to understand your legal options for seeking justice and compensation. Here’s a factual overview of the legal recourse available to victims of drunk driving accidents in South Carolina:

Criminal Penalties for DUI Offenders

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in South Carolina, punishable by fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. If the DUI driver caused an accident resulting in injuries or fatalities, they may face enhanced criminal charges such as felony DUI or DUI causing great bodily injury.

Civil Lawsuits for Personal Injury

In addition to facing criminal charges, drunk drivers may be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages they cause in DUI-related crashes. Victims of drunk driving accidents have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the intoxicated driver. Damages available in a personal injury claim may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Dram Shop and Social Host Liability

South Carolina’s dram shop laws hold alcohol vendors accountable for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who later cause DUI-related accidents. Additionally, social hosts may be held liable for serving alcohol to guests who subsequently cause accidents while intoxicated. Victims may pursue compensation through dram shop or social host liability claims against the establishment or individual responsible for serving alcohol to the DUI driver.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In some cases, the drunk driver may not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the victims of the accident. Victims may be able to file a claim under their own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to recover additional compensation for their losses.

Wrongful Death Claims

Tragically, some DUI-related crashes result in fatalities. In these cases, the surviving family members of the deceased victim may pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional pain and suffering resulting from the loss of their loved one.

Consulting with a Personal Injury Attorney

Pursuing legal recourse after a DUI-related accident can be complex, requiring knowledge of state laws, insurance regulations, and legal procedures. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in South Carolina is essential for understanding your rights, assessing the viability of your claim, and navigating the legal process to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.


Victims of DUI-related accidents in South Carolina have legal options available to seek justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. By holding drunk drivers and other responsible parties accountable through civil lawsuits and other legal avenues, victims can obtain the closure and financial support they need to recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is the first step toward pursuing accountability and securing the compensation you deserve.