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Highway patrol seeking evidence about S.C. man

This time of year many people are gathering for holiday dinners or work parties. Often times during these events, alcohol is served. While many people enjoy imbibing in the occasional alcoholic beverage, it is important to remember to avoid getting behind the wheel of your car if you plan on drinking. Enlisting the help of a sober driver can ensure that you make it home safely and without incident.

A driver from Beaufort, South Carolina, was allegedly drunk driving along Interstate 77 on the evening of Nov. 18 when his vehicle collided with another, killing a 16-year-old male.

Authorities state the man's vehicle collided with a Dodge Durango occupied by seven people. The occupants of the SUV were the teenager, four other family members and two friends of the family. They were driving from their home in the Midwest to a southern port to take a cruise.

Officials pronounced the teen dead at the scene of the accident. The six other occupants also were injured and hospitalized.

At the time of the fatal accident, the South Carolina man was awaiting trial on DUI charges previously filed two months before the crash. The previous DUI charge was his first offense, but he has several arrests on his record for a myriad of charges.

Now, the man faces much more serious charges of felony DUI involving a death, along with two counts of felony DUI that caused significant bodily injury. He had posted bond for the first DUI, but was then booked into the Fairfield County Detention Center.

A wreath and a cross have been left to show where the accident occurred, near Exit 41, and the Highway Patrol wants anyone who was traveling that stretch of road that evening to share any information available. An official said the highway has a lot of traffic and wants to be sure it has a complete investigation before proceeding forward.

If you have been arrested for an alcohol related offense it is important to contact an attorney who understands the laws surrounding DUI defense. A criminal defense attorney can discuss what options are available for your specific situation and advise you on the best way to proceed with your case.

Source: WISTV, "Man accused in fatal DUI crash was awaiting trial for driving drunk," Mary King, Dec. 4, 2012

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