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Drunk driver pleads guilty in fatal 2012 collision

A South Carolina man will spend close to a decade in prison after pleading guilty to drunk driving in connection with a New Year's Day accident in 2012. The man could spend up to nine years in prison for his role in the crash, which killed a 6-year-old girl. Reports show the child died after her family vehicle was struck as they were headed to a church service.

The 28-year-old man entered a guilty plea in the case, which meant he was sent directly to sentencing by a judge. Even though the family is clearly scarred by the child's death, relatives say they are at peace with the decision to imprison the defendant. The man's attorney in the case said the defendant admitted making poor decisions during the night before the crash. He mistakenly thought he could simply sleep off drunkenness from a New Year's Eve party. Instead, his blood alcohol content (BAC) registered at 0.208 percent at the time of the crash, more than twice the legal BAC of 0.08 percent.

News reports show the man had faced charges for DUI in relation to the child's death. He was also subject to penalties for serious injuries suffered by other victims in the vehicle. Finally, he faced charges for injuries inflicted upon a third motorist in the crash.

The man in this case said he plans to turn his life around by counseling young people about drinking in the future. He had previously pleaded guilty to DUI charges in 2009, but he continued to struggle with alcoholism as a disease. The defendant in this case was not sentenced to the maximum amount of prison time, which would have landed him in jail for more than two decades.

In this case, the man's attorney was able to negotiate a plea deal that more than halved the potential sentence. A guilty plea is not appropriate for every situation, but it can be helpful in under certain conditions. Consult your qualified criminal defense attorney before you enter a formal plea.

Source:  www.heraldonline.com, "SC man to serve 9 years in fatal DUI crash that killed little girl" No author given, Aug. 06, 2013

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