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Driver facing drunk driving charges after teen's death

A 60-year-old South Carolina man is facing criminal charges after he allegedly struck a young driver's vehicle and killed him. The man, who was allegedly found with prescription pills in his vehicle, has been charged with a drunk driving offense and possession of a controlled substance in connection with the wreck. Authorities say the man struck a 15-year-old boy's vehicle as that child was on his way to school. He remains in custody on a $115,000 bond.

Official reports show that the man crossed the center line on a Lexington County road on the morning of Dec. 6, slamming into the victim's two-door car. At the scene, the man failed field sobriety tests, and he also refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test. The driver admitted that he consumes prescription drugs each day that could make it difficult for him to drive, including Xanax and Klonopin. It is not clear whether the man had prescriptions for those drugs. Further, it is not clear whether the man was drunk driving or intoxicated because of medication at the time of the wreck.

Family members in the case were, of course, vengeful during the bond hearing, pressuring the judge for a high bond to keep the man in custody. They described the victim as a cheerful teen who intended to grow up and pursue a career in pathology. That child was also reportedly a very safe driver who always had both hands on the wheel.

In this case, the alleged at-fault driver may have been suffering from a medical condition that caused him to drive in an erratic fashion. He admitted to consuming two potent anti-anxiety medications on a daily basis. The man may simply not have realized the power of his medication. Since he refused a Breathalyzer, it is not clear whether the man was actually intoxicated on alcohol, or if he was simply altered because of his medication. A criminal defense attorney can help such DUI defendants learn more about the distinction between alcohol- and prescription drug-related infractions. These traffic defense professionals can protect the rights of all DUI defendants throughout every phase of the criminal proceeding, from arraignment to sentencing and beyond.


Source: 
www.thestate.com, "Family remembers student killed as bond set on DUI charge" Chris Winston, Dec. 07, 2013

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