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Do Drivers Who Cause Deadly DUI Accidents Face Strict Enough Penalties?

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South Carolina takes DUIs very serious, and they should. DUIs destroy lives and take away futures. When someone who is drunk gets behind the wheel, they can easily cause an accident, and that accident can easily take a life. The penalties for causing a deadly DUI accident range, and as wrongful death lawyers in Greenville, we want to know if you think they are strict enough.

Let’s take a look at a recent case near Walhalla, South Carolina. A 17-year-old driver drove while intoxicated and caused an accident that took the life of his teenage passenger. The single-vehicle wreck occurred last weekend on SC-11 where the drunken driver wrecked his car injuring a rear passenger and taking the life of the one in the front seat. He has now been charged with a felony count of driving under the influence resulting in death.

So what penalties could the teen driver be facing? Under the South Carolina Code of Law, Title 56, Chapter 5 : Article 23

A person who, while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or the combination of alcohol and drugs, drives a motor vehicle and when driving a motor vehicle does any act forbidden by law or neglects any duty imposed by law in the driving of the motor vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes great bodily injury or death to a person other than himself, is guilty of the offense of felony driving under the influence and, upon conviction, must be punished:

Those punishments could include a maximum fine of $25,100 and mandatory imprisonment of no more than 15 years. Since it’s a felony, that sentence must also be served in federal or state prison, not just a local jail. The person’s driver’s license must also be suspended for the term of imprisonment plus 5 additional years.

So what do you think? Does the punishment fit the crime?

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Harris & Graves are here to answer all your questions when you’ve lost a loved one to negligence. Contact our Greenville wrongful death attorneys to find out more.