A 45-year-old South Carolina man who police believe caused a four-car accident in Horry County on the night of Feb. 16 has been charged with felony DUI and drug possession. Two individuals suffered what news reports describe as life-threatening injuries in the crash, which took place near the intersection of 29th Avenue North and U.S. Route 17 in Myrtle Beach at approximately 8:00 p.m. Initial accounts do not reveal if any other road users were injured.
According to a Myrtle Beach Police Department report, officers at the accident scene detected the odor of alcohol on the man's breath. The man is said to have asked to speak with an attorney after refusing to submit to a breath test. After obtaining a search warrant, officers transported the man to a nearby medical facility for a blood draw.
The drug possession charge was added after officers allegedly discovered a plastic bag containing an unidentified white powder during an inventory of the man's possessions. Reports indicate that the man had been carrying the bag in a back pocket. A chemical test is said to have revealed that the substance was cocaine. The man was released from custody after posting a $55,000 bond.
Causing an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can have very dire consequences, and this is especially true when other road users have been killed or seriously injured. Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely urge any motorist who finds themselves in this position to make no statements before speaking with an attorney. Serious drunk driving cases are usually settled at the negotiating table, and misleading or false statements made to police officers could make securing a favorable plea agreement more challenging.Source: WBTW, MBPD: Cocaine found on man charged with DUI in 4-vehicle Highway 17 Bypass crash, Staff report, Feb. 18, 2019