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Man faces DUI and drug-related charges in fatal crash

The South Carolina Highway Patrol reports that a man is facing drunk driving charges in an accident that claimed the life of a high school student on Dec. 6. According to police, the fatal crash occurred in Lexington County shortly before 8 a.m. on Old Barnwell Road near White Knoll Way. The 15-year-old White Knoll High School student was killed when the 2002 Pontiac he was driving collided with a 2012 Honda Pilot operated by a 60-year-old Lexington man.

The identity of the student who was pronounced dead at the scene was confirmed by the Lexington County Coroner. Sources indicate that the driver of the Pilot was transported to the hospital following the crash. He has since been charged with felony DUI resulting in death and possession of a controlled substance. There are few additional details regarding the incident available as of press time.

In South Carolina, individuals who are convicted of drunk driving charges resulting in death may find themselves facing harsh penalties, but cases that involve drugs can be quite complex. There is no clear indication by sources that the driver facing charges in this case was driving under the influence of the controlled substance that he is charged with possessing, and it is possible that the use of alcohol contributed to the crash. However, if this is a drug-related DUI, it may be possible to devise a viable defense based on flaws inherent in chemical tests.

Current tests can not validate how long a controlled substance has been in an individual's system. A controlled substance can show up in blood and urine tests more than 24 hours after use and well after the individual is completely sober. Therefore, a strong DUI drug defense could lead to an acquittal in certain situations.

Source: The State, "Driver charged with felony DUI in crash that killed White Knoll student ", Chris Winston , December 06, 2013

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