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Death of pedestrian results in felony DUI charges for SC man

Each drunk driving charge is classified as a misdemeanor or felony according to the severity of the circumstances surrounding the charge. Although both types of charge should be taken very seriously, a misdemeanor DUI charge is less serious for the defendant than a felony DUI charge. Felony DUI charges usually come about when there is an accident in which it is suspected that at least one driver was under the influence of alcohol and the outcome of that accident was severe.

Although the accident does not have to result in death, a fatal DUI accident will very often result in a felony DUI charge. That was the case recently, when a South Carolina man was charged with felony DUI after a pedestrian accident that resulted in fatal injuries to a 39-year-old man.

The Lexington man was driving down the road eastbound at a little after 10:30 at night. At the same time, a pedestrian was walking westbound on a sidewalk bordering the road on which the driver was traveling. According to authorities, the driver's vehicle allegedly left the road and struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

According to authorities, the driver was not able to walk steadily and, according to witnesses, his vehicle had been weaving across the road shortly before the accident. He is being held without bond.

All of the aspects of this case, including the authorities' and eyewitnesses' accounts of the man's alleged behavior and driving, do not bode well for his case in defending himself against a conviction for felony DUI. But it is still very important for the defendant to have a rigorous defense on their side. Once the defense does the necessary analysis and investigation, they may be able to reduce the potential sentence or have the charges dismissed altogether.

Source: The State, "Lexington driver charged with felony DUI in Irmo pedestrian's death," Jan. 7, 2013

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