South Carolina’s Alcohol Education Program (AEP) – If you have been arrested for a crime in South Carolina there are a few programs that may help you if you are a first time offender. Part of what we do as Charleston criminal defense attorneys involves working with prosecutors to get first time offenders enrolled in these programs.

Alcohol Education Program (AEP)

AEP is a diversionary program designed for first-time offenders of magistrate/municipal court underage drinking offenses. This system allows the defendant to be diverted from court and enter into a program consisting of counseling and guidance. Successful completion of the program requirements will allow the defendant to process an Order for the Destruction of Arrest Record on the charge. The goal of this program is to give first-time offenders an educational opportunity to change illegal behavior.

*Offenders may participate in this program only one time

Who May Be Eligible:

  • Must be 17-20 years old
  • No prior criminal convictions
  • Must be employed, disabled, or enrolled in school
  • Must be likely to respond quickly to rehabilitative treatment
  • Justice to the offender and the state will be served by placing the offender in a diversion program
  • Offender is unlikely to be involved in further criminal activity
  • Individual poses no detectable threat to society


  • $150 Application Fee
  • $100 Participation Fee


  • Complete assigned counseling and payment of $100 participation fee
  • Submit to and pass random drug screenings
  • Complete assigned driving program
  • Complete community service as assigned
  • Must have NO criminal violations while enrolled in AEP

AEP Eligible Charges:

*If you complete the program requirements, the court that handled your case will be notified and the charges against you are dismissed. At that time, you are eligible, under the South Carolina Code of Laws to clear your arrest record of the dismissed charges by way of an expungement order.

*If you fail to complete the program for whatever reason or are charged with another offense, you will be terminated from the program and your case will be returned to court for prosecution.