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South Carolina

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Code 1976 2-7-35; Code 1976 47-3-910 - 970; Code 1976 43-33-10 - 70; Code 1976 56-5-3200 - 3220; Code 1976 43-26-80

Citation: SC ST 2-7-35; SC ST 47-3-910 - 970; SC ST 43-33-10 - 70; SC ST 56-5-3200 - 3220; SC ST 43-26-80


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:   The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance/service animal laws.


Statute in Full:

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976. Title 2. General Assembly. Chapter 7. Legislative Enactments. Article 1. General Provisions

§ 2-7-35. Handicapped person defined.

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 47. Animals, Livestock and Poultry. Chapter 3. Dogs and Other Domestic Pets. Article 15. Protection of Guide Dogs

 § 47-3-910. Short title.

 § 47-3-920. Definitions.

 § 47-3-930. Interference with use of a guide dog or service animal; misdemeanor.

 § 47-3-940. Injury, disability, or death; reckless disregard; penalties.

 § 47-3-950. Unauthorized control over guide dog or service animal; penalties.

 § 47-3-960. Intentional injury, disability, or death; penalties.

 § 47-3-970. Restitution.

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 43. Social Services. Chapter 33. Rights of Physically Disabled Persons. Article 1. In General.

§ 43-33-10. Declaration of policy.

§ 43-33-20. Right of use of public facilities and accommodations of blind, other special need persons, and guide dog trainers.

§ 43-33-25. Use of motorized chairs or carts by handicapped on beaches.

 § 43-33-30. Duty of driver approaching blind pedestrian; failure of blind pedestrian to carry white cane or use guide dog.

§ 43-33-40. Unlawful interference with rights of blind or other physically disabled person.

§ 43-33-50. White Cane Safety Day.

§ 43-33-60. Policy regarding employment of blind and other physically disabled persons.

§ 43-33-70. Right of blind and other physically disabled persons to equal access to housing accommodations.

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 43. Social Services. Chapter 26. Operation of Vending Facilities by Blind Persons

§ 43-26-80. Blind vendors may have guide dogs on public property.

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 56. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 5. Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways. Article 25. Pedestrians; Rights and Duties Thereof

§ 56-5-3200. Vehicle shall stop for pedestrian guided by dog or raising cane.

§ 56-5-3210. Penalties for violating §§ 56-5-2720, 56-5-3190, or 56-5-3200.

§ 56-5-3220. Effect of failure of incapacitated person to carry walking stick or cane, or to be guided by dog.

 

 

 

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976. Title 2. General Assembly. Chapter 7. Legislative Enactments. Article 1. General Provisions

§ 2-7-35. Handicapped person defined.

Wherever the term “handicapped person” appears in the laws of this State, unless it is stated to the contrary, it shall mean a person who:

(1) Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including, but not limited to caring for himself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working;

(2) Meets any other definition prescribed by federal law or regulation for use by agencies of state government which serve handicapped persons.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1978 Act No. 437, § 1.

 

Title 47. Animals, Livestock and Poultry. Chapter 3. Dogs and Other Domestic Pets. Article 15. Protection of Guide Dogs

§ 47-3-910. Short title.

This article may be cited as "Layla's Law".

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.


 

§ 47-3-920. Definitions.

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.

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.

 

§ 47-3-930. Interference with use of a guide dog or service animal; misdemeanor.

(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.

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.

 

§ 47-3-940. Injury, disability, or death; reckless disregard; penalties.

(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.

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.

 

§ 47-3-950. Unauthorized control over guide dog or service animal; penalties.

(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.

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.

 

§ 47-3-960. Intentional injury, disability, or death; penalties.

(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.

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.

 

§ 47-3-970. Restitution.

(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.

HISTORY: Added by 2003 Act No. 37, § 1, eff June 2, 2003.

 

Title 43. Social Services. Chapter 33. Rights of Physically Disabled Persons. Article 1. In General. 

 
§ 43-33-10. Declaration of policy.

It is the policy of this State to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State and to engage in remunerative employment.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.51; 1972 (57) 2617.

 

§ 43-33-20. Right of use of public facilities and accommodations of blind, other special need persons, and guide dog trainers.

(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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.52; 1972 (57) 2617; 1983 Act No. 57 § 1; 1987 Act No. 147 § 1, eff June 4, 1987; 2002 Act No. 204, § 1, eff April 10, 2002.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENT

The 1987 amendment replaced totally or partially blind or deaf person with handicapped person, and replaced guide dog with assistance dog in subsection (c).

The 2002 amendment added subsection (d) relating to public facility access rights of guide dog trainers.

 

§ 43-33-25. Use of motorized chairs or carts by handicapped on beaches.

For reasons set forth in § 43-33-20, persons who are handicapped and who customarily use motorized wheelchairs or motorized carts for locomotion shall not be prohibited from using such wheelchairs or carts on the strand of the seacoast of this State.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1980 Act No. 315.

 

§ 43-33-30. Duty of driver approaching blind pedestrian; failure of blind pedestrian to carry white cane or use guide 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 § 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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.53; 1972 (57) 2617; 1983 Act No. 57 § 2; 1987 Act No. 147 § 2, eff June 4, 1987.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENT

The 1987 amendment replaced totally or partially blind or deaf person with handicapped person, and replaced guide dog with assistance dog.

 

§ 43-33-40. Unlawful interference with rights of blind or other physically disabled person.

(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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.54; 1972 (57) 2617; 1993 Act No. 184 § 234, eff January 1, 1994.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENT

The 1993 amendment rewrote this section so as to change the maximum term of imprisonment to conform to the classification established for each offense.

 

§ 43-33-50. White Cane Safety Day.

Each year, the Governor shall take suitable public notice of October fifteenth as White Cane Safety Day. He shall issue a proclamation in which:

(a) He comments upon the significance of the white cane;

(b) He calls upon the citizens of the State to observe the provisions of the White Cane Law and to take precautions necessary to the safety of the disabled;

(c) He reminds the citizens of the State of the policies with respect to the disabled herein declared and urges the citizens to cooperate in giving effect to them;

(d) He emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in the community and to keep safe and functional for the disabled the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, other public places, places of public accommodation, amusement and resort, and other places to which the public is invited, and to offer assistance to disabled persons upon appropriate occasions.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.55; 1972 (57) 2617.

 

§ 43-33-60. Policy regarding employment of blind and other physically disabled persons.

It is the policy of this State that the blind, the visually handicapped, and the otherwise physically disabled shall be employed in the State service, the service of the political subdivisions of the State, in the public schools, and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.56; 1972 (57) 2617.

 

§ 43-33-70. Right of blind and other physically disabled persons to equal access to housing accommodations.

(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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 71-300.57; 1972 (57) 2617; 1983 Act No. 57 § 3; 1987 Act No. 147 § 3, eff June 4, 1987.

EFFECT OF AMENDMENT

The 1987 amendment replaced, in subsection (d), totally or partially blind or deaf person with handicapped person, and replaced guide dog with assistance dog.

 

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 43. Social Services. Chapter 26. Operation of Vending Facilities by Blind Persons


§ 43-26-80. Blind vendors may have guide dogs on public property.

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.


CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1978 Act No. 565 § 8.

 

Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated. Title 56. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 5. Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways. Article 25. Pedestrians; Rights and Duties Thereof

§ 56-5-3200. Vehicle shall stop for pedestrian guided by dog or raising cane.

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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 46-439; 1952 Code § 46-439; 1949 (46) 170.


§ 56-5-3210. Penalties for violating §§ 56-5-2720, 56-5-3190, or 56-5-3200.

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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 46-440; 1952 Code § 46-440; 1949 (46) 170; 1992 Act No. 399, § 5.

 

§ 56-5-3220. Effect of failure of incapacitated person to carry walking stick or cane, or to be guided by dog.

Nothing contained in §§ 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.

CREDIT(S)

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 46-441; 1952 Code § 46-441; 1949 (46) 170.

 

 



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