EDISTO ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A 60-year-old man was sentenced to 12 years for a DUI crash that killed a man on Edisto Island.
A jury convicted Walter Douglas Barclay of Edisto Island on Tuesday for felony driving under the influence with death after a week-long trial. Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson sentenced Barclay to a term of 12 years with the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Under the sentencing law governing felony DUI, Barclay must serve at least eighty-five percent of this sentence before he will be eligible for parole.
On the evening of Dec. 8, 2008, authorities say Barclay drove his Chevy Silverado several feet across the center line into the oncoming lane crashing into Alvaro Garcia who was driving a Geo Prizm.
Alvaro died at the scene, while his passenger Jose Davila was airlifted to MUSC for treatment. Davila recovered from his injuries and was able to provide key testimony in the trial. Barclay was also charged with felony driving under the influence with great bodily injury for Davila's injuries, but the jury found him not guilty of those charges.
Barclay admitted to drinking a "couple beers" at his farm that day. His blood alcohol content was a .20, more than two times the legal limit. An empty bottle of Jim Beam and several cold beers and a cooler were found near Barclay's truck. .
"This tragedy occurred between Barclay's home and his farm, within two miles of each other, on a road he traveled every day," Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Kinzeler said. "The gruesome scene really showed the catastrophic effect of drunk driving and highlighted the fact that drinking and driving is a dangerous choice even on short trips and familiar roads."