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Respected paramedic charged with drunk driving after RV wreck

A former emergency responder is accused of criminal violations after he allegedly crashed his recreational vehicle while driving under the influence. The South Carolina man is accused of drunk driving in connection with the wreck, which reportedly occurred on Highway 200. The wreck was so severe that it led to the man's RV becoming airborne and then crashing into a ditch.

The man had been a highly regarded paramedic in Lancaster County for nearly three decades. He retired a couple years ago, just after criminal charges were filed against him in connection with theft of a controlled substance. The man was accused of taking 10 vials of morphine from a cabinet inside the EMS office. That case was dismissed.

In the most recent incident, the defendant apparently crashed his vehicle while drunk, and authorities say he may have been trying to pretend he was not intoxicated when they came to the scene. The defendant had allegedly moved to the rear of the RV and was eating food and drinking a significant amount of water. The man exercised his right to refuse a breath test, but he did fail field sobriety tests.

The man then allegedly attempted to remove his handcuffs. He became violent and combative while inside the emergency room, where he had been taken after suffering a bloody head wound. Although the man in this case is likely to face drunk driving charges, official reports have not indicated the severity of those potential allegations.

News reports do not indicate whether the man has a previous history of intoxicated driving. First-offense drivers without a criminal history may have an advantage in the criminal court system. These defendants deserve leniency and a chance to turn their lives around after being charged with their first DUI infraction.

Source: WSOC 9, "Troopers: Former paramedic arrested after crashing RV" Kathryn Burcham, May. 13, 2014

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