New Study Shows South Carolina Ranks 3rd in the Country for DUI Accidents and Deaths
In 2012 alone, 360 people were killed in accidents related to driving under the influence, or DUI.
The state also ranked 20th in the country for DUI arrests, at 17,906 arrests in 2012. Many of the drunk drivers were minors, with 2.8 underage deaths related to DUI accidents per 100,000 people – the 6th highest rank in the United States.
Although North Dakota and Montana ranked 1st and 2nd respectively, Southern states Mississippi and Texas ranked 5th and 6th for DUI accidents and deaths.
“It seems it’s always pretty much been this way as far back as I can remember,” New Orleans-based insurance agent Allen Bordeaux said. “I hear that drivers here a little bit more adventurous than in other places. They tend to run yellow lights regularly and things of that nature.”
“It’s relative to where we live, the condition of the highways and streets,” he said. “It probably also has something to do with the amount of people trying to get around every day.”
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley recently signed a tough DUI bill into law. Called Emma’s Law, the bill toughens consequences for drunk drivers after the first offense.
DUI Charges In South Carolina
A felony driving under the influence charge, as related to the serious harm or death of another is the most devastating consequence of a drunk driving accident, and can cause lasting damage for all parties and families involved.
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 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.
In South Carolina, you can be charged with driving under the influence ofprescribed or over-the counter drugs or medication in addition to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs. States are under pressure to tighten laws for convicting DUIDs and set clear legal definitions. For now, DUID lawyers may have more opportunities for reducing and expunging driving under the influence of drug charges. Note: A DUID that involved illicit drugs may have other criminal drug charges attached.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Felony DUI Charges in South Carolina
If you face DUI charges, whether it is your first charge, or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you drink and drive, especially if you are not the designated driver, does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800