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South Carolina student charged with felony drunk driving

A senior at the University of South Carolina is facing serious drunk driving charges after allegedly striking two motorcyclists on Sept. 2. The accident reportedly occurred on Highway 21 at about 7 p.m., when the young man's vehicle crossed over the center line and plowed head-on into the two bikers. The man is being held on two counts of felony DUI and a single count of second-offense driving under suspension. He is being held on a total bond of $17,700.

Authorities report the man had been drinking before he struck the two riders, a 43-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman. Both riders were on their own motorcycles. The victims reportedly were pronounced dead at the scene after suffering serious blunt-force trauma. A passenger in the man's vehicle was not injured, but he was transported to local hospital facilities after the crash. It is not clear whether hospital workers obtained blood samples at that time to confirm the man's blood-alcohol content, which has not been reported in news media outlets.

The man was able to secure a relatively low bond in the case because he is not considered a flight risk. Since he attends university and holds down two jobs, he is unlikely to leave the community in an attempt to escape prosecution. In addition, the man's parents are working professionals in the area who are committed to supporting him in his educational endeavors. Even though the victims' family members complained about the low value of the bail, attorneys from both sides explained that the amount was standard for felony DUI cases.

Although the young man's previous crimes were brought up during the bond hearing - he has been accused of drug possession and at least one other alcohol-related violation in the past - that information will likely not be relevant in the actual DUI hearing. The young man's attorney can help him understand how his previous convictions might relate to the current case.

thetandd.com, "College student charged with felony DUI after two motorcyclists killed in crash" Gene Zaleski, Sep. 04, 2013

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