Friday, August 10, 2012

Elderly South Carolina man charged with felony DUI after crash

On behalf of Taylor Law Firm, LLC posted in Felony DUI on Thursday, April 5, 2012

An 84-year-old South Carolina man was recently charged with DUI after his SUV collided with a stopped motorcycle. Most DUI charges are misdemeanors, but since the motorcyclist was seriously injured in the crash, the 84-year-old now faces a charge of felony drunk driving.

According to police, the elderly man's SUV was moving at about 20 miles per hour when it collided with the motorcycle that was stopped at a traffic light. The 29-year-old on the bike was said to have suffered pelvic fractures and was taken to a local hospital.

The accident report claims the elderly man was facing a green arrow that directed the SUV to head straight on the roadway. But instead of going straight, the 84-year-old apparently turned left into the direction of oncoming traffic, colliding with the motorcycle that was stopped at another traffic light.

The elderly man was not injured in the crash. Police apparently administered a sobriety test, which showed his blood-alcohol content to be 0.13 percent, which is over the legal limit to drive. But readers in the Columbia area may know that such tests are not always accurate. For his own defense, the SUV driver may want to take steps to determine whether the arresting officers administered the blood-alcohol test properly.

Still, since a serious injury resulted from the accident, prosecutors will aggressively pursue the felony charge against the 84-year-old. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison. Such a heavy penalty highlights the importance of taking a close look at the circumstances of an arrest. Police reports almost always point toward conviction, but there often exist mitigating factors that could result in a reduction of charges.

Source: The Post and Courier, "Man, 84, arrested on felony DUI charge after crash with motorcyclist," Andrew Knapp, April 2, 2012

Tags: DUI defense, blood-alcohol tests, drunk driving accidents, felony DUI

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