Alcohol Education Program

The Alcohol Education Program (AEP) was established in South Carolina to specifically target the problems and risks of underage drinking by placing the responsibility on the defendants regarding the choices they make through education while giving him or her the opportunity to have their charge(s) dismissed.

Who is eligible for AEP?

  • The offender is at least 18 years of age at the time of the arrest
  • No prior alcohol related convictions
  • No significant prior criminal activity
  • No prior participation in AEP

What charges are eligible for the AEP?

  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Open Container
  • Possession of Fake Identification
  • Public Intoxication/Public Disorderly Conduct

How does the participant enter the AEP?

  • A participant may be referred to the AEP by the Summary Court Judge or Municipal Court Judge.
  • Prior to the scheduled court date, Summary Court and Municipal Court cases may be eligible to enter the AEP as a self-referral.

If you are interested in applying to the Alcohol Education Program, please contact the office at (843) 915-8351 for more information. 

What is needed to apply?

  • Program fees in the amount of $250.00 (payable by money order or debit/credit card)
  • Driver’s license (or another photo ID)
  • Social Security Card

What is required while in the program?

  • Complete twenty (20) hours of community service work for a non-profit organization
  • Participate in an eight (8) hour alcohol education class provided by a licensed professional counselor
  • Attend a four (4) hour life skills education course

How long is the program?

Participants may be eligible to successfully complete the AEP within thirty (30) days from the time of application based on scheduling by the AEP office.


Successful Completion

  • Upon completion all applicable agencies are notified to dismiss the charge(s) (Magistrate Court, Municipal Court, Police Department, SLED)
  • Participants have the right to request expungement of the dismissed charge(s) at an additional cost of $250.00. Expungement is not a requirement.

Unsuccessful Completion

Should a participant unsuccessfully complete the program, the AEP file is closed and the court is notified.

Out of Area Participation

The AEP case manager will assist the participant in locating resources in their area. The participant must attend an alcohol education course, a life skills education class, and find a non-profit agency to complete the community service in their area by the deadline given.