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Analyzing the Legal Implications: The Case of Jamie Komoroski, Felony DUI Charges, and the Responsibility of Establishments in Over-serving Alcohol

South Carolina DUI crash killing bride and severely injuring the groom could involve legal battles over blood alcohol testing as the defendant refused field sobriety tests.  25 year old Jamie Komoroski was charged with three counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury or death and one count of reckless homicide after a wedding crash. The 25-year-old suspect smelled of alcohol but refused a field sobriety test at the scene, police said. Komoroski has no past convictions.  To read more about the Komoroski case you can read Julianne McShane’s Article from NBC News.

The husband, who suffered bodily injuries but has been released from the hospital, has sued several bars that allegedly over-served the defendant alcohol that Friday. The suit blames the bars for serving a “notably and visibly intoxicated” Komorowski and letting her consume additional and excessive amounts of alcohol. It also alleges the bars allowed her to leave in her dangerously intoxicated state.

The Hutchinson family’s attorney, Danny Dalton said in a statement to CBS News: “The state grants restaurants and bars a license for the privilege to serve alcohol, and with that privilege comes a responsibility to the community to serve patrons responsibly and to deny service to individuals who are visibly intoxicated.”

Komoroski, through her defense attorneys, filed the motion May 19, according to Court of General Sessions records in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. The defendant has been held without bond at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center since she was booked. Komoroski’s defense lawyers have asked for a bail of $100,000, inpatient rehab for their client, and permission after exiting rehab to stay at her mother’s home in South Jersey pending trial.

It is alleged that Komoroski’s blood alcohol was more than three times the legal limit.  Blood tests in DUI case can be challenged and potentially excluded from evidence.  In a case where there is an accident and no field sobriety tests, these cases can make strong cases for trial.  It is alleged that the defendant was going 65 miles per hour in a 25 mile speed limit.  It is likely that the Government will obtain the crash data to show the speed of the car upon impact and present accident reconstruction testimony.  It is unusual in typical DUI cases to interview the bar where a defendant left prior to getting arrest; however, in a case that has drawn media attention and involves a death as in this case, the Government will take these additional steps to prove the case and attempt to prove the case at trial.

“In light of her lack of criminal history, her strong familial support and her peaceable character, her commitment to rehabilitative treatment and her mother’s and brother’s willingness to house and support Jamie while she is on release, and the multitude of conditions the court can impose in its order for bail to further protect the public and ensure her appearance, Jamie asks that the court order her release,” the filing reportedly continued.

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