DAn allegedly drunk driver had a blood-alcohol level more than four times above the legal limit when he killed a woman in a Greenville, South Carolina crash, according to state trooper Jonathan Bridges in court.
A toxicology report found that the driver, Scott A. Henning, had a BAC of 0.331 on the night that he killed a 62 year old woman named Marilyn S. Bunkley, 62.
Henning was charged with felony DUI resulting in death after the crash. The legal BAC in South Carolina is 0.08%.
The state trooper testified in court on Sept. 22 that Henning was seen by witnesses driving erratically in his SUV before the crash as it was going northbound on Old Buncombe Road at a high rate of speed. As he was traveling north, he went left of center and smashed into Bunkley’s car. She was driving a Ford Escape and tried to avoid the oncoming Toyota Highlander unsuccessfully.
The state trooper visited Henning in the hospital, where he was being treated for minor injuries. Henning reportedly had the blanket over his head and said that he did not want to talk. During a brief conversation, the state trooper stated that Henning admitted that he had drank before driving.
It is appalling that a driver would be behind the wheel with a 0.331% BAC, but our attorneys are not surprised. If the allegedly drunk driver is found guilty in this terrible South Carolina car accident, our personal injury attorneys hope that he is sentenced harshly. In South Carolina, the minimum sentence for a felony conviction causing death is one year, with a maximum of 25 years. Also, the person’s driver license will be suspended for the term of imprisonment plus five years.
A recent news report stated that in a nine-month period in 2016, 48% of South Carolina DUI cases resulted with the accused found guilty. Another 44% of the cases were pleaded down to reckless driving. Legal experts say that part of the reason that there is a lower conviction rate is the dash cam video arrest statute in South Carolina.
This law requires that officers must videotape all field sobriety tests, the defendant blowing into the breathalyzer, and reading of Miranda Rights. If some of this is not captured on video, the case may be dismissed or reduced to reckless driving.
Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys hope that this man’s terrible example will serve as a warning to other drivers to never drive while intoxicated. They also should note that convicted drunk drivers also may be sued in civil court for personal injuries or death caused by their negligent actions.