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Gaston man gets 25 years for fatal DUI with high breath test

Once an individual has been charged with drunk driving, there are many circumstances that influence sentencing and the determination of consequences if the person is convicted. Some of these things include any history of drunk driving charges, the driver's blood alcohol content and the severity of the circumstances surrounding the drunk driving incident.

In South Carolina, a BAC of .15 or higher is considered as a high breath test. A high breath test means that drivers may be subject to an automatic suspension of their licenses for at least 60 days. There is also always the potential for more serious consequences. A South Carolina man is facing much more serious consequences after an accident that caused the unfortunate death of a 17-year-old. At the time of the accident, the man also had a high BAC.

According to police, the 46-year-old man was driving approximately 50 miles-per-hour over the speed limit when he lost control of his vehicle and drove off of the road. When he tried to correct his path and drive the truck back onto the pavement, the car slid across the left side of the road and struck an embankment. His passenger, the 17-year-old, was killed in the accident.

When the state highway patrol arrived, they tested the driver's BAC and the results allegedly came back at .20. The man also had prior DUI convictions in two states. The court took these factors into consideration when sentencing the man. He received the maximum sentence -- 25 years in prison.

While this case was very serious, there are other cases stemming from DUI charges due to a very high BAC that do not involve such major car accidents and criminal histories. These, too, are taken seriously by authorities who are pressured to keep the roads safe. However, each case is unique and it is important for drivers to know that high breath tests are not always accurate and that they have certain rights that must be protected during and after a DUI arrest.

Source: The State, "Gaston man gets maximum sentence for DUI involving death," Dec. 20, 2012

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