Charges including drunk driving have been filed against a college student who was driving a car carrying four friends to a school football game. The crash resulted in the death of one 18-year-old freshman riding in the vehicle who was from Virginia.
Three other occupants of the vehicle were hospitalized after the accident, which occurred at approximately 3:15p.m. The student motorist driving the 2001 Land Rover SUV was on an interstate highway when his car left the road, veering off to the left side before striking a tree and then rolling over.
In addition to felony DUI, the driver has also been accused of marijuana and controlled substance possession. Police did not release any information about the driver's supposed blood-alcohol content or why they think he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Breath and blood testing apparatus can give false or questionable readings of intoxication in some instances if the equipment is not properly calibrated or proper procedures are not followed. The charges that have been filed carry harsh penalties of up to 25 years of incarceration, as well as a fine ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 if he is convicted.
With such high stakes, the police and prosecutors must be required to produced solid evidence that the young driver was actually at fault for the accident. Such a conviction could interrupt the student's college career and essentially ruin his life over an accusation that, if true, could amount to a momentary lapse of judgment. News reports of the crash did not indicate whether any factors other than the alleged intoxication could have contributed to the tragic accident, such as mechanical difficulties or vehicle defects.
Source: The State, "College of Charleston freshman from VA killed in accident" Robert J. Baker, Sep. 17, 2013