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Driver charged with 5th DUI after South Carolina police pursuit

A man who led police on a chase in Kershaw County was taken into custody on Nov. 30 after he crashed his vehicle into an embankment. The driver, a 43-year-old man with an extensive DUI history, now faces a fifth DUI in addition to numerous related traffic charges.

The pursuit reportedly began when an officer attempted to execute a traffic stop after observing the driver of an SUV cross over the dividing line in the center of the road. The driver reportedly did not stop, but instead continued driving through numerous neighborhoods where he drove onto private property and hit some mailboxes. The Kershaw County Sheriff's Department released dash cam video of a portion of the chase. The pursuit ended in Lugoff when the driver lost control of the SUV and crashed into an embankment on Highway 1.

According to the sheriff's department, the driver already had four DUI convictions before the charge arising from this incident. In addition to this fifth DUI, he has also been charged with leaving an accident scene, providing a police officer with false information, having an open container in his vehicle and failing to stop for a blue light.

A history of DUI convictions exposes a driver to harsher penalties when they face new charges for the same offense. The exposure is even greater when the new DUI charge is accompanied by other alleged criminal offenses. In addition to longer periods of incarceration and heavier fines, defendants could also face orders of restitution for property damage they caused, as is alleged in this case. Aided by legal representation, an individual facing similar charges might benefit from attempting to resolve the case in a plea bargain before it goes to trial.

Source: WLTX, "Sheriff: DUI suspect hits mailboxes with car", December 01, 2014

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