Death of passenger in one-car accident leads to DUI charge

As many people in South Carolina know, a conviction for driving under the influence can come with serious penalties, including fines, imprisonment and driver license suspension. If a fatal accident was the result of a DUI, the penalties grow exponentially.

A Georgia woman is likely to be charged with a felony DUI due to a fatal crash. According to reports, the woman was driving with two passengers. Her vehicle reportedly left the pavement off the right shoulder of the road. As she tried to reenter the roadway, she over-steered, crossed the pavement and struck an embankment on the left side of the road.

During the crash, the rear passenger was ejected from the vehicle; they were later pronounced dead at the scene. The front passenger remained with the vehicle and was transported to a local hospital. The passenger's medical status is not yet known. The driver also suffered injuries requiring hospitalization.

In South Carolina, a DUI that results in death is a felony if the person is convicted. A driver may be convicted of DUI if the person's blood alcohol exceeds .08 percent. Testing can be made by either a blood test or a breath test.

With a felony conviction, a defendant could face up to 25 years in prison where death results or 15 years if great bodily injury results. In both cases, fines of $10,000 or more can result. In either case, the driver can be subject to civil liability to persons injured. Due to the penalties involved, a person charged with any form of DUI may want to seek the assistance of criminal defense counsel, especially an attorney experienced in DUI defense.

Source: Bluffton Today, "Georgia Woman faces felony DUI charge after fatal Jasper County crash.," Shellie Murdaugh, April 1, 2019Source: South Carolina Code of Laws, "Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways South Carolina Legislature.

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