Most people who find themselves facing a felony DUI charge never meant to hurt anyone, but unfortunately, alcohol is a factor in many injurious accidents every year in South Carolina. These crashes can be devastating for everyone involved, and people should be aware of their legal options for minimizing the negative consequences.
A tragic Labor Day auto accident has led to felony DUI charges for a young man from Columbia. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the 21-year-old was driving in Orangeburg when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with two motorcycles. Both riders suffered fatal injuries.
A news report doesn't indicate the results of a blood-alcohol test, but one was likely administered. The driver was hospitalized before police charged him. He faces two counts of felony DUI, and he was apparently driving without a license.
A passenger in the car was not injured.
In South Carolina, the penalties for a felony DUI conviction include a mandatory prison sentence and a hefty fine. The state has made increased efforts in recent years to prosecute drunk-driving allegations, and accused individuals could face extremely serious consequences. Penalties for repeat DUI offenses have also become stiffer in recent years.
Outside of criminal court, people accused of felony DUI could also face legal action in civil court. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are sometimes filed in the wake of a serious auto accident. Individuals who have been involved in an injurious or fatal crash should apprise themselves of their rights and responsibilities.
Source: wbtw.com, "DUI driver hits 2 motorcycles head-on, killing riders, SC troopers say," Sept. 3, 2013