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Driver who hit Coca-Cola truck charged with DUI

A South Carolina man is facing drunk driving charges after he crashed his car into a Coca-Cola delivery truck. The truck then hit another vehicle, and two people were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The accused 60-year-old man was driving west on Gervais Street in Columbia when he allegedly turned in front of two vehicles and hit the truck. He was charged with DUI and failure to yield the right of way. This is not the man's first DUI charge. In addition to a previous DUI, he also has a criminal record, including charges of public drunkenness, breaking and entering and cocaine possession. When he is released from the hospital, he will be booked.

Because this is this man's second DUI charge, a conviction could lead to more severe penalties than those for a first DUI offense. A second DUI offense carries an automatic jail sentence of five days to one year in addition to hefty fines and a nine-month driver's license suspension.

Someone can be charged with DUI if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 or above or if they fail a field sobriety test, regardless of their blood alcohol level. It is not illegal to refuse to take a field sobriety test in South Carolina, though implied consent law makes it illegal to refuse to take a chemical test. Refusal to take a Breathalyzer or other chemical test carries a penalty of license suspension. Police officers must follow certain rules when testing, and any failure to follow them could jeopardize their case against the driver. A DUI defense could include any evidence of failure on the part of the arresting officer when taking their client into custody.

Source: WISTV, "Man involved in Gervais Street crash arrested on DUI charge", Laurin Barnes, March 14, 2014

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