In addition to "absolute speed limits" (see below), South Carolina's "basic speeding law" prohibits driving at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. (S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-1520(a) & (c) (2017).)
A first-time speeding violator may be:
Reckless driving is defined as driving in a way that shows “a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” For a first violation, a motorist faces up to 30 days in jail or $25 to $200 in fines.
(Read more about South Carolina's reckless driving laws and the penalties for a conviction.)
South Carolina's absolute speed limits are:
South Carolina has what is known as an “absolute speed limit" law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 miles per hour and you drive 41 miles per hour or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In South Carolina you may be able to make three possible defenses:
Note that in South Carolina you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit—for example, driving exactly at the maximum posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.
An offender, who accumulates 12 to 15 points, is subject a three-month suspension. If they accumulate 16 or 17 points, the suspension is four months. If they accumulate 18 or 19 points, the suspension is five months. And, if they accumulate 20 or more points, the suspension is six months.
A person may obtain special restricted driving privileges to operate a motor vehicle to and from either a place where they are either employed or a college or university where they are enrolled provided they live more than one mile from the place of employment or educational facility. Points are computed in the following manner. Points for offenses committed within the immediate 12 months from the present offense are counted at full value. However, points for offenses that have been committed more than 12 months but less than 24 months from the present offense from the immediate offense are reduced to half of their full value. Note: Points are not assigned for offenses committed more than 24 months from the present offense.
(Learn more about South Carolina's point system, including the point values for different violations.)