Many residents of South Carolina may know that it can sometimes be scary to be accused of committing a crime, especially if the act that resulted in the charges was committed on accident. That is the case for a South Carolina man who accidently struck the back end of a police cruiser. He was not only penalized for allegedly causing a car accident, but also for allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol. The man is now facing drunk driving charges.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the 55-year-old driver hit the back of an occupied Columbia Police patrol vehicle. The driver then left the scene of the accident but he was later arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The police officer was not injured but was taken to a nearby medical facility as a matter of protocol to ensure there were not any injuries that weren’t immediately visible.
When an individual is charged with drunk driving, there are numerous different penalties that they may face if they are convicted. The penalties usually vary depending upon whether the driver has a criminal history and also depending upon the severity of the incident. Drunk driving charges start out as a misdemeanor and, as the impact increases in severity, they can be upgraded to a felony.
First of all, South Carolina law provides for an automatic driver’s license suspension. The time frame for suspension can range from six months all the way up to a permanent revocation, depending upon how many drunk driving offenses are on the individual’s record.
In addition, someone that is convicted of drunk driving may face monetary fines.
In these situations law enforcement officers and the prosecution can be very intimidating. It is important that the defendant does not give in to these intimidation tactics. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and a defendant is entitled to certain rights that must be upheld. An experienced drunk driving defense attorney will serve as the defendant’s advocate and make sure the defendant receives the rights to which they are entitled.
Source: WISTV.com, “Man charged with DUI after hitting police car with officer inside,” Randy Johnson, Oct. 22, 2013