Orangeburg Man Arrested on Felony DUI Charges After Causing Fatal Crash
Early on Saturday, November 2nd, a man suspected of DUI was arrested after causing a crash that killed one person, and injured two more. The driver was arrested on felony DUI charges.
According to police reports, just after 1 AM on Saturday, Robert Jennings, 20, was driving west on Riverbank Drive. He attempted to pass another vehicle that was also headed west, but a collision occurred.
The driver of the second vehicle was killed, and two passengers were taken to a hospital. Their conditions are not known.
Jennings was not injured in the felony DUI crash. He was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, although his blood alcohol content (BAC) is unknown, and it is unknown if he was given any field sobriety tests.
He was taken to Orangeburg County jail and charged with two counts of felony DUI, one involving a death, and one for great bodily injury.
The accident remains under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
South Carolina Felony DUI Law
A person will be charged with a felony for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, if while operating the vehicle under the influence, the person causes “great bodily injury” or death to a person other than himself including a passenger, pedestrian, another driver.
Great bodily injury is defined by the state of South Carolina as bodily injury, which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious or permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Additionally, if the injured person dies from related complications (such as a coma) within three years of the DUI-related injury, the driver may be implicated in the death.
Upon conviction of a felony DUI by jury, the accused faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence and fine. A DUI conviction that includes a felony conviction for causing the death of another includes a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 1 year in prison with a maximum 25 years imprisonment, and a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $10,100 nor more than $25,100. Additionally, the convicted person’s driver’s license is suspensed for the term of imprisonment plus five years.
A felony DUI conviction for causing great bodily injury includes a mandatory minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 15 years imprisonment, plus a mandatory fine of at least $5,000, not to exceed $10,100. Also, the DMV must suspend the convicted person’s driver’s license for the term of imprisonment plus three years.
A part of the mandatory sentences required to be imposed under the felony DUI law must not be suspended, and probation must not be granted for any portion.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Felony DUI Charges in South Carolina
Based in Columbia, SC, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm collectively have over 30 years of experience with South Carolina law. The firm was founded in 1996 by former US Attorney and Assistant Solicitor Pete Strom. If you face felony DUI charges in South Carolina, we can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not let DUI or felony DUI charges prevent you from pursuing opportunities. Contact us today. 803.252.4800.