South Carolina State Service Dog Laws

The full text of South Carolina law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to read specifically about Service Animals in South Carolina.

Important points:

Summary – A trainer of a service dog with an SDiT has the same public access rights as a disabled individual with a service animal.

Detailed – SC CODE § 43-33-20 (d) Every person who is a trainer of an assistance or guide dog, while engaged in the training of an assistance or guide dog, has the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities and accommodations as blind and disabled persons, including the right to be accompanied by an assistance or guide dog or assistance or guide dog in training, in any of the places listed in item (b) of this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog. A person who uses premises or facilities accommodations accompanied by a dog under the authority of this item is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by the dog.

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, any state, county or municipal laws, regulations, ordinances to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided, however, that this section shall in no manner affect or limit the provisions of Chapter 33 of Title 43 of the 1976 Code.
(a) The blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public facilities, and other public places;

(b) The blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons;

(c) Every handicapped person has the right to be accompanied by an assistance dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in item (b) of this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog. Each handicapped person is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by the dog.

(d) Every person who is a trainer of an assistance or guide dog, while engaged in the training of an assistance or guide dog, has the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities and accommodations as blind and disabled persons, including the right to be accompanied by an assistance or guide dog or assistance or guide dog in training, in any of the places listed in item (b) of this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the assistance dog. A person who uses premises or facilities accommodations accompanied by a dog under the authority of this item is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by the dog.

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. A totally or partially blind pedestrian not carrying a cane or a handicapped pedestrian not using an assistance dog in any of the places, accommodations, or conveyances listed in Section 43-33-20, has all the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons. The failure of a totally or partially blind pedestrian to carry a cane or the failure of a handicapped pedestrian to use an assistance dog in any of these places, accommodations, or conveyances does not constitute negligence.
(A) It is unlawful for a person or his agent to:

(1) deny or interfere with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in Section 43-33-20; or

(2) interfere with the rights of a totally or partially blind or disabled person under Section 43-33-20.

(B) 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.

(a) Blind persons, visually handicapped persons, and other physically disabled persons shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this State, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

(b) “Housing accommodations” means any real property, or portion thereof, which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings, but shall not include any accommodations, included within subsection (a) or any single-family residence the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.

(c) Nothing in this section shall require any person renting, leasing, or providing for compensation real property to modify his property in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a blind person, visually handicapped person, or other physically disabled person than for a person who is not physically disabled.

(d) 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. Each handicapped person is not required to pay extra compensation for the dog but is liable for any damage done to the premises by the dog.

For purposes of this article:

(1) “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.

(2) “Humane euthanasia” means the termination of a terminally ill or critically injured guide dog or service animal’s life by a means that produces a rapid and minimally painful death as provided in Section 47-3-420.

(3) “Notice” means an actual verbal or written warning prescribing the behavior of another person and a request that the person stop the behavior.

(4) “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.

(5) “Value” means the value to the guide dog or service animal user and does not refer to the cost or fair market value.

(A) It is unlawful for a person who has received notice that his behavior is interfering with the use of a guide dog or service animal to continue with reckless 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.

(B) It is unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to allow his 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.

(C) A person who violates subsection (A) or (B) is guilty of a misdemeanor triable in magistrate’s court and, upon conviction, is subject to the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment in magistrate’s court.

(A) It is unlawful for a person with reckless disregard to injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal.

(B) It is 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.

(C) A person who violates subsection (A) or (B) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(A) It is 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.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not less than one year, or both.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to intentionally injure, disable, or cause the death of a guide dog or service animal, except in the case of self-defense or humane euthanasia.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(A) 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, which arise out of or are related to the criminal offense.

(B) Restitution for a conviction under this article includes, but is not limited to:

(1) the value of the replacement of an incapacitated or deceased guide dog or service animal, the training of a replacement guide dog or service animal, or retraining of the affected guide dog or service animal and related veterinary and care expenses; and

(2) medical expenses of the guide dog or service animal user, training of the guide dog or service animal user, and compensation for wages or earned income lost by the guide dog or service animal user.

(C) This article does not affect civil remedies available for conduct punishable under this article. Restitution paid pursuant to this article must be set off against damages awarded in a civil action arising out of the same conduct that resulted in the restitution payment.

Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, guided by a guide dog or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place where such pedestrian is attempting to cross shall bring his vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and before proceeding shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian.
A person who violates any of the provisions of Sections 56-5-3190, 56-5-3200, or 56-5-2720 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars or imprisonment for not exceeding ten days.
Nothing contained in Sections 56-5-3190 and 56-5-3200 shall be construed to deprive any totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person not carrying such a cane or walking stick or not being guided by a dog of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or highways, nor shall the failure of such totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person to carry a cane or walking stick or to be guided by a guide dog upon the streets, highways, or sidewalks of this State to be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence.