When a DUI Becomes a SC Felony DUI
A very disturbing story from an incident occuring in North Charleston SC where a number of people were on the scene of a car accident when they were struck by a speeding vehicle. A North Charleston Firefighter, a Charleston County Paramedic, and four bystanders were on the side of the road with lots of emergency vehicles and flashing lights. Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks were all out in plain view. Nevertheless, a drunk driver somehow managed to miss all of this acitivity and struck several people causing servious injury. As a result, the defendant will be charged with multiple counts of felony driving under the influence. In total, five civilians, the firefighter, and county medic had to be transported to the hospital. The dashcam recordings showed the devestating effect of the crash with some of the bystanders being thrown to the ground after impact of the car ramming into them. One of the North Charleston’s Firefighters was listed in unstable condition in the Intensive Care Unit at the Medical University of South Carolina. Given the number of victims involved, several hospitals in the area, including Trident Hospital and Summerville Medical Center received victims and treated injuries. The defendant was arrested and taken to jail. After appearing before a judge, his bond was set at $300,000.
SC Felony DUI
Driving under the influence (DUI) is already a serious criminal charge, but you are looking only at fines and loss of driving privileges if convicted. When you have an accident and seriously injure or kill someone, a DUI becomes a SC felony DUI which will put you in prison for years if found guilty. Life can change pretty quickly. Even if you do not cause the accident, your DUI status can elevate the charge to a felony. Cases like the one described above are exactly why SC DUI laws are so harsh, even for first time offenders. For the safety of everyone on the road and standing by the road, please let someone else drive if you have been drinking. The risk is too great, and the penalty of prison time should deter anyone from “taking a chance.”