A 64-year-old Texas man who repeatedly drove drunk was sentenced last month to 99 years in prison. It was his eighth conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI). The man, who is from San Marcos about half way between Austin and San Antonio, was spotted by deputies weaving in traffic while driving 75 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.
The jury deliberated for only three hours before determining his guilt. The next day the jury returned to the courthouse and spent six hours deliberating before returning with the 99-year sentence. The man had also been charged with interfering with public duties and resisting arrest.
He had previously been convicted of DWI in 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991 and twice in 1998. In the 1986 case, he was sentenced to 33 months in prison. In 1990, he was sentenced to five years in prison. In one of the 1998 cases, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, in the other, 25 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2003. In January 2015, he was arrested for the eighth time. He will be eligible for parole in 15 years.
In July, a San Antonio man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his eighth DWI and an El Paso man was arrested for the ninth time while driving under the influence. In the San Antonio case, the 54-year-old man was arrested in January after he crashed his vehicle while driving on the wrong side of the road. He is not eligible for parole. In the El Paso case, the 60-year-old man had slowed his minivan at a traffic light when a police officer noticed he had a defective brake light. They pulled him over and determined he was intoxicated.
Similar to the laws in Texas, under the Revised Code of Washington, drivers who have four or more prior alcohol or drug DUI convictions in a 10-year period can be charged with felony DUI. It is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to $10,000 or both. It also constitutes a felony if the driver has been previously convicted of:
- Vehicular homicide while driving under the influence.
- Vehicular assault while driving under the influence.
- Any comparable charge to vehicular homicide or vehicular assault in another state.
- Any prior conviction for a felony driving under the influence.
The best defense against a DUI arrest is never driving after drinking, however, if you have been charged with DUI in Washington state, you deserve the benefit of an experienced attorney. In Seattle, call the law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.