South Carolina man with-rare condition has DUI charges dropped

A man who caused a fatal collision recently had the DUI charges against him dropped because he suffers from a rare health condition.

In September of this year, a South Carolina man was involved in a car accident that killed two people, states WYFF4.com. Before the crash occurred, witness accounts reported that the man was driving extremely fast, was unconscious behind the wheel of the vehicle he was driving and that he failed to obey a traffic signal at an intersection. As a result of the collision, the man was charged with two counts of felony driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death. However, these charges were later dropped because it was discovered that he suffered from a rare health condition.

The man's condition

According to WYFF4.com, after the accident occurred, the man who caused it smelled like alcohol and law enforcement found a collection of empty beer cans inside of his vehicle. However, after two blood samples were taken, it was revealed that his blood was negative for ethanol and that his blood alcohol content (BAC) level was 0.0 at the time of the crash. In interviews with law enforcement officials after the collision occurred, the man had no recollection of the crash and was unable to remember what happened before it occurred.

It was later discovered that the man suffers from a condition known as lactic acidosis, which results in dangerously high levels of lactic acid in the bloodstream. When a person has high levels of lactic acid in his or her bloodstream, they may experience loss of consciousness, confusion, seizures and disorientation, all symptoms that can easily be confused with intoxicated driving.

DUI penalties in South Carolina

If the man had not suffered from lactic acidosis and was under the influence of alcohol when the car accident occurred, he could have faced serious penalties as a result of the drunk driving arrest. In South Carolina, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with a BAC level that exceeds .08. Additionally, the consequences for those suspected of drunk driving depend on the number of convictions on their record.

For example, a person charged with DUI for the first time may have his or her driver's license suspended for six months and be required to spend 48 hours to 30 days in jail. In comparison, a person charged with DUI for the third time may have to spend 60 days to five years in jail, depending on his or her BAC level at the time of the arrest.

Seek legal assistance

Those convicted of DUI in South Carolina may find that their employment and educational prospects are harmed in addition to the other penalties they face. If you were arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving, speak with an attorney to find out what your legal rights are.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, arrest, charges