South Carolina's Reckless Driving Laws and Penalties

Read about South Carolina’s reckless driving laws and the consequences of a conviction.

In South Carolina, driving unsafely can lead to reckless driving charges, jail time, fines, and license suspension. This article explains how South Carolina defines reckless driving and the specific penalties you'll face for a conviction.

What's Considered "Reckless Driving" in South Carolina?

South Carolina defines reckless driving as driving in a way that shows "a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." The term "willful" refers to conduct that is intentional or purposeful. And "wanton" generally means the person understood but disregarded the consequences of the conduct. (S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2920.)

South Carolina's Reckless Driving Penalties

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor in South Carolina. The penalties for a conviction depend mostly on whether the driver has any prior convictions.

Fines and Jail Time for a 1st Reckless Driving Conviction in South Carolina

Motorists convicted of a first reckless driving offense face up to 30 days in jail or $25 to $200 in fines.

Fines, Jail Time, and License Suspension for a 2nd or Subsequent Reckless Driving Conviction in South Carolina

In addition to the first-offense penalties (see above), anyone convicted of a second or subsequent reckless driving offense within a five-year period is looking at a three-month license suspension.

Traffic Violation Points for Reckless Driving Offenses in South Carolina

A reckless driving conviction will also add six demerit points to a motorist's driving record. Accumulating 12 or more points within a certain period of time can lead to license suspension.

Reducing a DUI to Reckless Driving in South Carolina

In South Carolina, it's possible for a driver who's charged with driving under the influence (DUI), also called "operating under the influence" (OUI), to "plea bargain" for a lesser charge. When a DUI is plea-bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it's sometimes called a "wet reckless."

Talk to a South Carolina Defense Attorney

The facts of every case are different. If you've been arrested for or charged with reckless driving, get in contact with an experienced defense attorney. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on how best to handle your situation.

Defend your rights. We've helped 95 clients find attorneys today.
First Name is required
First Name is required
Talk to a Defense attorney
We've helped 95 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you