An interesting thing happened while I was sitting and enjoying live music by Swift Robinson at the Esso Club in Clemson, SC after the Clemson vs. Wake Forest game; a girl at our table pulled out a breathalyzer to test everyone’s alcohol level. Several people at the table registered double the legal limit and thought it was funny because they felt they could still operate a 5,000 lb vehicle on the roadways of South Carolina. Fortunately for my friend, I was not drinking but the couple that had pulled out the breathalyzer later left together and drove home (even though they both registered over the legal limit).
This happens in every state, college town, social scene, professional night out, etc. We have all done it and I am not one to point fingers without admitting to my own ignorance in getting behind the wheel when there could be a question as to my level of impairment. However, what none of us think about are the consequences of killing someone and going to jail for an innocent night out for a few drinks. I never thought about it and thank God everyday that as dumb as I have been on occasions, I have been fortunate enough to only harm myself. (fortunate compared to the alternative).
I am willing to bet the two drivers that got charged with felony DUI’s this past weekend in the upstate did not think they would kill someone when they got behind the wheel. YET THEY DID.
- Douglas Dodgens, 52, was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The 30-year-old driver of the car that hit Dodgens’ car was charged with felony driving under the influence. -as reported by The Greenville News;
- Zion Faith Mills, 17-year-old Lyman girl, was killed and five people were injured in a wreck outside Greer. The driver in the one-vehicle accident has been charged with felony driving under the influence. -as reported by The Greenville News.
My buddies in New York are amazed at the amount of drinking and driving down South and attribute it to our lack of knowledge in using public transportation. I often refute that public transportation is not as readily available down here as up there but nonetheless, they are right. Call a cab, friend, or just have a sober driver.
Felony DUI charges are not cheap to fight, civil lawsuits and settlements against the at fault driver’s insurance company are not going to replace the lives lost, and jail is considered a punishment because no one wants to be there, neither do you.
Be smart, spend $20-50 on a taxi vs. $30,000 on a criminal defense attorney and living with the knowledge of what you have done to someone and their family.