South Carolina traffic fatalities are down, but incidents of DUI still a concern for Carolina motorists

Two people are dead and a Lake City man faces multiple charges including two counts of DUI resulting in death after an early morning one-vehicle Christmas Day crash in Florence County, SC, WMBF News reports. Friends of the driver and family members of the deceased say it was unlike the 34-year-old to drink and drive. His bond was set at $51,000.

In 2008 there was a car accident on South Carolina roads every 4.9 minutes; a fatal car crash every 10.4 hours, and an accident with injuries every 16.9 minutes. At least once a day each day of 2008 someone lost their life due to a South Carolina car accident where alcohol played a factor, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports.
According to the SCDMV, a one-time DUI conviction results in six month license suspension. Convicted a second time and a driver loses the right to drive for a year. A third time, two years. After that, driving privileges are revoked.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that nationwide, 11,773 people lost their lives to alcohol-related car accidents and 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2008. It is estimated that one in three fatal car accidents are linked to a drunk driver. In fact, every day more than 30 people in the U.S. are killed – that’s one person every 45 minutes – in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver.

While the number of South Carolina traffic fatalities for 2008 dropped to 921 (a 14.5 percent decrease compared to 2007 numbers), South Carolina car accidents still cost the state $2.71 billion in medical bills, property damage repairs and job productivity. Far and away, the leading contributor to South Carolina car accidents in 2008 was a driver under the influence. Alcohol-related crashes claimed 377 lives and left another 3,516 motorists injured. In three out of four cases the driver involved in a fatal South Carolina car accident was male. And men aged 20 to 24 continue to be over-represented in fatal crashes.

The Carolina car accident lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident, or losing a loved one to a fatal crash, can be devastating. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident from Burlington to Roxboro or any other region of the Carolinas, you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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