South Carolina Service Dog Laws

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Definitions

Under Article 15, Protection of Guide Dogs:

“Guide dog” means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.

“Service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purposes of assisting or accommodating the sensory, mental, or physical disability of a disabled person.

Code 1976 § 47-3-920

Accommodation Law

Every handicapped person/trainer of assistance dog has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the listed public places.

Code 1976 § 43-33-20

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Code 1976 § 43-33-40

Every handicapped person who has an assistance dog, or who obtains an assistance dog, is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section.

Code 1976 § 43-33-70

Blind persons who are licensed by the Commission to operate vending facilities shall be allowed to have their guide dogs present with them while on public property.

Code 1976 § 43-26-80

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Interference with guide or service dog:

Unlawful for person who has received notice that his or her behavior is interfering with the use of a guide dog or service animal to continue withreckless disregard to interfere with the use of a guide dog or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog or service animal or its user.

Unlawful for a person withreckless disregard to allow his or her dog that is not contained by a fence, a leash, or another containment system to interfere with the use of a guide dog or service animal by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the guide dog or service animal or its user.

Violation is a misdemeanor triable in magistrate’s court and, upon conviction, is subject to the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment in magistrate’s court.

Code 1976 § 47-3-930

Injury to guide or service dog:

Unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal.

Unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to allow his dog to injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal.

Violation is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.

Code 1976 § 47-3-940

Unauthorized control over guide or service dog:

Unlawful for a person to wrongfully obtain or exert unauthorized control over a guide dog or service animal with the intent to deprive the guide dog or service animal user of his guide dog or service animal.

Violation is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than $2,000 or imprisoned not less than 1 year, or both.

Code 1976 § 47-3-950

Intentional injury/cause death to guide or service dog:

Unlawful for a person tointentionally injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal, except in the case of self-defense or humane euthanasia.

Violation is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

Code 1976 § 47-3-960

Restitution:

A defendant convicted of a violation of this article may be ordered to make full restitution for damages including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by the guide dog or service animal and its user.

Code 1976 § 47-3-970

Driving Law

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or approaching a handicapped pedestrian using an assistance dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to the pedestrian. Any driver who fails to take these precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the pedestrian.

Code 1976 § 43-33-30

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway guided by a guide dog, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection shall bring the vehicle to a full stop before arriving and take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian.

Code 1976 § 56-5-3200

Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $25 or imprisonment for not exceeding 10 days.

Code 1976 § 56-5-3210