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South Carolina driver faces second DUI charge after fatal accident

A driver from South Carolina is facing a second DUI charge after being involved in a fatal car crash. The driver, a 24-year-old woman, had previously been charged with DUI in 2012 according to police reports. The fatal accident occurred during the afternoon in the vicinity of eastbound Dorchester and Mark Clark Roads. After arriving at the scene of the accident, police discovered one of the victims had been ejected from a Jeep Cherokee and was deceased. A second victim traveling in the Jeep had sustained serious injuries. Two other people traveling in a Ford Mustang did not suffer significant injuries. The second victim was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina hospital for treatment.

The police investigation revealed that the driver of the Ford Mustang was eastbound on I-526 when the car suddenly drifted from the road toward the median. The driver tried to steer back toward the road, and, in doing so, collided with the Jeep, resulting in the fatal collision. The Jeep spun out of control and flipped over several times. The alleged negligent driver, a resident of Hanahan, South Carolina was arrested, and has been charged with felony DUI causing great bodily injury and felony DUI causing death.

A first DUI conviction in South Carolina with blood alcohol content over 0.10 can lead to license suspension for six months, a fine of up to $400 and imprisonment for up to 30 days. A second DUI conviction with the same or more blood alcohol content can lead to license suspension for a year, a fine between $2,100 and $5,100 and imprisonment for up to one year. However, if the drunk driver is convicted for causing a fatal crash, then under such circumstances the driver can be imprisoned from 1 year to a maximum of 25 years, and be fined for between $10,100 and $25,100.

In addition, victims can sue the convicted negligent driver for damages such as lost wages, medical expenses and all other monetary losses resulting from the accident. If, as in this case, there is a fatality, the immediate family of the deceased can additionally sue for pain and suffering and funeral expenses.

Source: WBTW News 13, "SC woman charged in fatal DUI crash has previous DUI charge," Jan. 28, 2013.

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