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Man convicted of drunk driving in New Year's crash

A South Carolina man could be facing a nine-year prison term after he was convicted in connection with a drunk driving accident that killed a child. The man, age 28, was sentenced in early August for the crash, which occurred on New Year's Day in 2012. Attorneys in the case say the man made a bad decision by attempting to sleep off his intoxication, assuming that the rest would make him fit to drive. The man had faced charges not only for the child's death, but also for vehicular assault against injured family members and another driver who was involved in the crash.

The man was sentenced to simultaneous terms, with nine years' time for felony DUI and 10 years for injuries to the girl's father. The man's relatively light sentence may be a result of his decision to plead guilty to the charges. He had also pleaded guilty to a DUI incident in 2009, but he was unable to fully conquer his drinking problem, he said. To put the sentence in perspective, the maximum penalty in this case would have sent the man to prison for 25 years.

The sentencing hearing was incredibly emotional, with the mother of the 6-year-old victim falling to her knees to demonstrate her actions in the aftermath of the crash. The girl was the only family member to die in the crash; her parents and three brothers survived, albeit with some serious injuries.

Authorities report the man's blood alcohol content registered at 0.208 percent when the breath test was administered. That is nearly three times the legal limit in the state of South Carolina. Drivers are considered intoxicated at 0.08 percent BAC.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you are not automatically considered guilty. Consult the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney to help you maximize the outcome of your case. Like this man, you could benefit from a reduced sentence. Your attorney can help you make the best decisions in your criminal case.

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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