Felony DUI case proceeds in fatal crash involving 24-year-old Hanahan woman

A magistrate ruled this afternoon that prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed with a felony drunken driving case against a Hanahan woman involved in a fatal wreck on Interstate 526 last month.

Lisa Pistolis, 24, of Gemstone Boulevard faces charges of felony driving under the influence with death and felony DUI with great bodily injury. The two counts carry a combined maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Pistolis, who was a Hooters employee when she was first arrested on a DUI charge last year, has been in jail since the Jan. 27 crash. Her bail remains at $73,374.

Magistrate James Gosnell’s ruling means the case will proceed toward a trial.

Pistolis’ public defender, Alicia Penn, declined to comment after the hearing.

Witnesses told authorities that Pistolis and a friend had shared two pitchers of mimomas and a beer at Gene’s Haufbrau in West Ashley, according to North Charleston Police Department Officer Jonathan Lawrence.

Then about 4:30 p.m., Pistolis was driving on eastbound I-526 when her Ford Mustang drifted into the median at Dorchester Road, overcorrected, then struck a Jeep.

The Jeep flipped and its driver, 35-year-old Serjei Cahuantzi of Charleston, was ejected. The bartender at Joe Pasta in downtown Charleston died at the scene, Lawrence said during the hearing.

Cahuantzi’s passenger also was hospitalized with serious injuries. Pistolis and a passenger in her Ford were not seriously hurt.

For Pistolis, it wasn’t her first arrest on a DUI charge.

In February 2012, a deputy spotted her Ford doing 17 mph over the limit on U.S. Highway 78 near North Charleston, an incident report stated. Her blood-alcohol content was tested at 0.12 percent, according to the report. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

In connection with that case, Pistolis was awaiting a jury trial this month. But the current status of the charge was not immediately known.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.

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