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Underage Drinking

Some South Carolina crimes or offenses are applicable only to underage people – those between the ages of 17 and 21. Driving under the influence, for instance, has specific sections applicable only to minors. While there are other crimes that affect young adults differently, the largest group is alcohol violations. Information about the Alcohol Education Program that may be helpful in those cases follows.

If you are between 17 and 21 or are the parent of a young person, I will provide all the help the law allows to defend your future. If you are a student at Furman University, Clemson University, Greenville Technical College, Bob Jones University, North Greenville University or any other college or university or the parent of a son or daughter at any institution of higher education, please know that any conviction could affect eligibility for student loans or student housing or your child's future. Please let me know if I can help.

Contact an experienced Upstate South Carolina underage drinking lawyer online or call my firm at 864-236-4631 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Alcohol Education Program

The Alcohol Education Program (AEP) is a diversion program for first-time offenders with magistrate/municipal court alcohol offenses. The program, which requires community service work, alcohol education class and alcohol testing, allows the defendant to have the charges dismissed.

A person may only participate in the program once. A person's participation in AEP does not prevent future participation in the Pretrial Intervention Program.

A person who successfully completes AEP will be eligible to apply to the court for an expungement of the arrest record.

Eligibility:

The Alcohol Education Program is an alternative to court for individuals ages 17 to 20 who are charged with alcohol-related offenses. People may be considered for the program if:

  • They have no prior alcohol-related offenses.
  • They have no significant prior delinquency, criminal activity or alcohol-related traffic offenses.

Eligible Alcohol Offenses:

  • Purchase or possession of beer or wine by someone under 21
  • Purchase or possession of alcoholic liquor by someone under 21
  • Open container in a motor vehicle
  • Public disorderly conduct
  • Littering
  • Providing false information concerning age
  • Unlawful purchase of beer or wine for a person who cannot legally buy
  • Transfer of beer or wine or any other alcoholic liquor for an underage person's consumption
  • Possession of an altered driver's license

Driving alcohol offenses, including driving under the influence and driving under an unlawful alcohol concentration, are not eligible for the program.

Greenville and Pickens County information may be found at www.greenvillecounty.org/solicitor/aep.asp. If the violation is in another county, contact that Solicitor's Office to learn about the program there. A list of solicitors can be found at www.prosecution.state.sc.us/Content/Solicitors.aspx.