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South Carolina woman detained after fatal DUI-related accident

On Feb. 10, a 36-year-old Rock Hill woman was taken into custody after her GMC Yukon ran into the back of a vehicle waiting at a stoplight on Celanese Road. The vehicle, a Kia Rio driven by a woman who was 22 years old, was pushed into the path of a Toyota Camry. The driver of the Kia Rio was pronounced dead at the Piedmont Medical Center emergency room shortly after the accident. The other two drivers were uninjured.

The GMC Yukon driver allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .20 percent at the time of the accident. She also had a previous record of drunk driving and traffic offenses. In 2008, she was tested at her home for sobriety after a driver reported seeing her swerving on the road. Her blood alcohol content at that time was .11, and she completed an alcohol and drug safety program to earn back her license, which had been suspended after the incident. In 2009, she ran into a man on the same road although no injuries resulted from the collision.

The woman now faces a charge of felony driving under the influence resulting in death. A $25,100 fine and 25 years in prison is the maximum penalty if she is convicted, and she is currently being held without bond. Her attorney has suggested that he will ask the judge to reconsider the bond issue and suggests that his client, a mother of two, is distraught after the accident.

Drunk driving charges may carry particularly severe penalties when the injury or death of another party is involved. In this case, the defendant also has previous charges for DUI, and this could complicate the case further. A defense attorney may be helpful for a DUI defendant in such cases.

Source: The State, "Rock Hill woman charged in traffic death had previous DUI", Jonathan McFadden, February 11, 2014

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