MYRTLE BEACH, SC ( WMBF ) In 2017, Myrtle Beach Police say that the department issued over $20,000 worth of profane language citations, according to WMBF.
In Myrtle Beach, using profane language to “provoke violent reactions” falls under the disorderly conduct ordinance. The law (ordinance 14-61) states, “By making, uttering or directing toward another person any lewd, obscene or profane or libelous expletive or epithets or “fighting” words, which as a matter of common knowledge, when addressed to the ordinary citizen are inherently likely to provoke violent reactions, including but not limited to calls, threats and invitations to immediately engage in physical violence, fisticuffs, duel or personal combat.”
WMBF explained that not all the money went to the city, but that a percentage from those citations goes to court fees and victims’ advocates. WMBF reached out to Horry County Police to see if the disorderly conduct law has any specifics about cursing. Police say that the county charges under the state law for disorderly conduct or breach of peace. He explained that profanity could be an element of either of those laws, but not necessarily.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department issued a statement to WMBF:
“A person would violate Ordinance 14-61 (b)(1) if he/ she uses language likely to provoke a violent reaction from another person. The ordinance lists several examples of the types of words which are unlawful. The penalty for a conviction could include a fine and/ or jail time. We encourage everyone to avoid violating this ordinance by speaking to others with the same respect and kindness you deserve.”