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Man charged after crash on South Carolina highway

An accident on a South Carolina highway on March 17 left a woman injured and a man facing drunk driving charges. The accident happened around 9:30 p.m. on Maybank Highway near Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw Island. According to the police, a woman was changing a tire on her disabled car, which was partially blocking traffic, when an oncoming vehicle stuck her car.

The impact threw the woman away from her vehicle. She reportedly suffered life-threatening injuries. The man was not injured. He was taken to Charleston County Detention Center and faces drunk driving charges. He left the jail after posting $997 in bail.

Police say that the accused had a blood alcohol content of less than .10 percent. This was his first arrest in South Carolina. First time offenders are sometimes able to negotiate plea deals that require alcohol counseling in lieu of time in jail.

The accused currently faces a misdemeanor charge, but it is possible he could be charged with a more serious felony DWI. That charge can be used in cases in which authorities believe a person drove drunk and caused great bodily harm. The felony charge can carry a sentence of between 30 days and 15 days in jail. Prosecutors have said that they are still discussing whether or not to charge the accused with a felony. One consideration in the decision is that the woman was found to be partially at fault for her injury. Authorities say her car was blocking traffic while she was changing the tire.

Source: The Post and Courier, "Deputies consider more serious DUI charge in Wadmalaw Island crash that injured woman changing tire," Andrew Knapp, March 21, 2014

Source: WCSC, "Man charged with DUI after crashing into woman released on $997 bond", Philip Weiss, March 19, 2014

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