Seeking Justice: Legal Options for Victims of DUI Crashes in South Carolina

When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they put everyone on the road at risk of serious harm or even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI-related crash in South Carolina, understanding your legal options for seeking justice is crucial. Here’s a factual overview of the legal remedies available to victims of drunk driving collisions in the state:

Criminal Charges Against the DUI Offender

In South Carolina, driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense. If the drunk driver caused an accident resulting in injuries or fatalities, they may face criminal charges such as driving under the influence causing great bodily injury or felony DUI resulting in death. Criminal prosecution of the DUI offender can result in penalties such as fines, license suspension or revocation, and imprisonment.

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 collisions 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 Liability

South Carolina’s dram shop laws allow victims of drunk driving accidents to hold alcohol vendors liable for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons under certain circumstances. If a bar, restaurant, or other establishment served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person who later caused a DUI-related crash, the establishment may be held accountable for the damages resulting from the accident.

Social Host Liability

Similarly, South Carolina recognizes social host liability in cases where individuals or hosts serve alcohol to guests at social gatherings. If a host knowingly provides alcohol to a guest who becomes intoxicated and causes a DUI-related accident, the host may be held liable for the injuries and damages resulting from the crash.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In some cases, the drunk driver may not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the victims of the accident. In such situations, 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.

Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the legal aftermath of a DUI-related crash can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the accident. Seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney in South Carolina is essential for understanding your rights, exploring your legal options, and pursuing the compensation you deserve.


Victims of DUI-related crashes in South Carolina have legal remedies available to seek justice and compensation for their injuries and losses. By holding drunk drivers and other responsible parties accountable for their actions, victims can obtain the closure and financial support they need to move forward with their lives. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can provide invaluable assistance throughout the legal process.