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Nine, no, make it ten times and out?

A man pled guilty to his ninth DWI charge last week and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Unfortunately, he will be eligible for parole in seven-and-a-half-years, but the Assistant District Attorney noted that he hoped the man be in for a "long time." The latest DWI charge occurred in September of 2011, when a Montgomery County sheriff's deputy observed the man's pickup weaving across the road into oncoming traffic.

What is sad here is that when they stopped him, the sheriff's deputy did not realize that the man had been charged on eight previous occasions. It was only with the effort of a dedicated police investigator that they were able to uncover the man's full arrest record.

He had previously served time in a Texas prison in 1993 after, what was at that time, his third DWI conviction. He had also been arrested in Tennessee and Florida, where he had been convicted in 1997.

Shockingly, while out on bond from a 2011 arrest he was stopped and charged with another DWI in 2012, which resulted in another 10-year sentence.

Only sheer luck prevented him from having a drunk driving accident during the last two decades that could have severely injured or killed an innocent driver. Clearly, the system has failed when someone collects 10 DWI convictions. 

We are not naïve enough to believe that prison time will alter the behavior of someone who engages in chronic alcohol abuse like this man. We can only imagine how many times he may have driven drunk and escaped being arrested.

If you have been injured in an accident where you suspect the other driver was intoxicated, you should contact an attorney to determine if compensation may be available for your injuries.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Ninth DWI gets Montgomery County man 30 years in prison," Carol Christian, August 22, 2013

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