While first time DWI defendants are receiving some leniency by counties that have implemented pretrial diversion or divert programs that can keep a person from having a final conviction, sentences for people who injure or kill others seem to be getting more severe. Also, juries and judges are handing down harsh sentences for people with multiple convictions.
Recently, a Texas man received six life-sentences following his sixth DWI arrest. This incident resulted in a crash when he was pulling into a liquor store. Two people were killed in the wreck and a third person received life-threatening injuries, the Houston Chronicle reported about the incident in late September. In another case in Montgomery County, a man received a life sentence this summer for his ninth DWI conviction, Montgomery County Police Reporter’s Scott Engle wrote.
In another case, a Hays County jury handed down the 99-year sentence to San Marcos, Texas, resident Jose Marin following his 8th conviction for driving under the influence. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Stalbaum said the sentence was the only way to prevent Marin from ever driving drunk again, the San Antonio Express-News reported last week.
Today, Terry W. Yates was interviewed by Dale Forbis on News Radio 740 KTRH, and spoke about these issues. With the usage of body and police cameras, officers do not have as much discretion as they did in the old days. If you are stopped for suspicion of DWI today you are likely going directly to jail, Yates said. The better practice is simply not to drink and drive.