The Highway Patrol of South Carolina is currently investigating an accident that occurred overnight in Dorchester County. Sadly, this accident turned to be a fatal one.
Saturday night, around 11:30 p.m., two friends had been out drinking and one of them decided to call it a night. The 21-year-old defendant male was driving his Jeep home under dark and damp conditions with a female passenger, also age 21.
There were two cars traveling northbound on I-17, fairly close to the Highway 61 intersection. One of those cars had the 21-year-old intoxicated driver behind the wheel. The drunk driver was attempting to pass the car that was traveling parallel to him when the Jeep and the other vehicle made contact with one another.
The impact must have been quite severe, because the Jeep was thrown off the road, flipped over twice, and a female passenger was ejected out of the vehicle. The female was pronounced dead by the time the EMTs arrived. Neither of the people in the Jeep was wearing their seatbelt at the time of the incident.
What is a Felony DUI in South Carolina?
In the state of South Carolina, a felony charge of a DUI has three requisites that must be met in order for the defendant to be properly charged as such.
The first element is that the person must have operated a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both.
The second element requires that the person was doing something either illegal or unlawful. This could mean anything from a violation of a traffic law or failure to uphold your responsibility to the court, such as failure to appear or pay a fine. The most common illegal act is found when the person is intoxicated, and the officer is given reasonable suspicion through the defendant failing to maintain his vehicle in his lane, or acting negligent or reckless with his driving behavior.
Lastly, the serious injury or death must have been the proximate cause of the great bodily injury or death to any person other than himself, including passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.