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High-speed chase leads to drunk driving charges

A South Carolina man is facing charges in two counties after an April 2 traffic incident developed into a high-speed chase. The Hemingway resident is facing drunk driving charges in Marion County and charges of assault, domestic violence and resisting arrest in Williamsburg County.

The man's burgundy Chevrolet Impala was reportedly spotted chasing a female pedestrian by an off-duty police officer on Main Street in Hemmingway at about 6 p.m. The officer, who had been on his way to work, tried to intervene by placing his vehicle between the man's car and the woman. However, the man's car allegedly struck the woman before leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. The off-duty officer then followed the Impala towards Johnsonville on Highway 41/51.

The chase was then joined by the Johnsonville police chief who had been parked when the two vehicles sped by. He estimated that the Impala was traveling at 100 mph. The two police officers lost sight of the Impala after following it into Marion County on U.S. 378. A Marion County deputy later saw a burgundy Impala at a convenience store gas pump in Mullins. The driver attempted to flee on foot, but he was soon detained. After a highway patrol officer arrived at the scene, the man consented to a field sobriety test. This led to a first-offense charge of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level less than .10 percent.

Motorists suspected of drunk driving often face a raft of charges as authorities seek to establish as strong a position as possible. A criminal defense attorney may dispute the validity of some of these charges when bringing mitigating factors to the attention of the prosecutors involved. Mitigating factors in this case could include the lack of a prior history of drunk driving and a blood alcohol level only marginally higher than the South Carolina legal limit of .08 percent.

Source: SCNow.com, "Primary Target URL: /Criminal-Defense/DUI-DUAC/ Primary Anchor text: Drunk driving charges; DUI defense; DUAC Keyword text: DWI offenses; DWI charges; DWI first offense; DWI second offense; misdemeanor DWI; aggravated DWI; felony D", Christopher McKagen, April 10, 2014

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