Charges not upgraded for Lexington Co. man charged with 3rd DUI

cwinston@thestate.comDecember 11, 2013 

— A man arrested Friday and charged with DUI will not have his charges upgraded, Springdale Police Chief Kevin Cornett said Wednesday.

Robert Darren Craft, 39, was charged with DUI, second offense, last week but has two convictions already.

“Based on Mr. Craft's criminal history report we will not be able to upgrade the charge to a DUI 3rd,” Cornett said in a Wednesday email.

He remained in the Lexington County Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon, held on a $25,000 bond.

Craft was arrested Friday after an officer on patrol heard screeching tires coming from the Circle K parking lot at 2208 Airport Boulevard shortly after 2 a.m. When the officer approached the vehicle and asked questions, Craft responded with slurred speech and the officer could smell alcohol. Craft failed several field sobriety tests and was unable to follow directions to conduct a blood-alcohol test with a breath test.

Craft was jailed in February 2012 for DUI following a fatal October 2011 crash on South Lake Drive in Lexington County. That crash killed two children — Haley Upchurch, 10, and Cameron Upchurch, 7, who were riding home from church with their grandparents. Originally charged with felony DUI involving death, Craft’s charges were lowered to DUI, second offense, after it was determined both drivers were at fault in the crash.

Chief Cornett said Monday that charges may be upgraded to a third offense because Craft was convicted in May 2008 of a DUI, first offense. He paid a fine and served no jail time in that case.

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