Motorists in the state of Texas who are convicted of multiple DWI offenses face particularly significant penalties. A judge in Montgomery recently sentenced a motorist to life in prison after the he was charged with his ninth DWI offense since 1980. The charge in question resulted from an event in which the motorist drifted into a lane of oncoming traffic while turning at a stop sign and nearly struck another motor vehicle. After the collision, the motorist asked a nearby convenience store owner to help hide him. The motorist proceeded to plead guilty to the offense, which quickly resulted in the man receiving the sentence of life in prison. This conviction does not mark the first time that the motorist in question has been sentenced to prison. The motorist has previously been sentenced to prison four times due to DWI related offenses. Because multiple driving while intoxicated charges can result in individuals facing stiffer penalties, it is particularly important for motorists to understand some of the relevant law about these charges.
Penalties of a Third or Subsequent DWI Charge
Individuals who are charged with a third or subsequent driving while intoxicated charge in the state of Texas will likely be charged with a third degree felony offense rather than a misdemeanor. The penalties of this offense most frequently include:
- Fines of up to $10,000,
- Two to ten years in state prison,
- Up to two years of driver’s license suspension, and
- Up to $2,000 in an annual surcharge for three years following an individual’s arrest to maintain a driver’s license.
Individuals are also required to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles, which require them to breathe into the devices before the vehicles will start.
The DWI Intervention Program
When individuals are charged with a third or subsequent driving while intoxicated offense in the state of Texas, they are often required to attend the DWI Intervention Program. This program analyzes the root cause of the motor vehicle driver’s behavior with specific regard to self-esteem issues and alcohol dependency. If ordered to attend this program, an individual must complete all 32 hours of the program. Failure to complete this course can result in the state of Texas suspending the individual’s driver’s license until the class is successfully completed.
In some situations, individuals who are charged with a third or subsequent driving while intoxicated offense are eligible for community supervision. A Texas court will analyze many factors in determining whether to grant community supervision including:
- The length of time since the individual’s last DWI,
- If the event that led to the conviction in question resulted in an accident,
- The exact level of the individual’s alcohol concentration, and
- The presence of any aggravating factors.
Contact an Experienced Denton County DWI Attorney
Individuals in Denton and the surrounding area who face a third or subsequent driving while intoxicated offense often require the service of a skilled DWI attorney who will fight tirelessly to create a strong defense, keep the motorist out of jail, and prevent the motorist’s driver’s license from being suspended. If you are facing your third or subsequent driving while intoxicated offense, consider contacting a compassionate and skilled criminal defense attorney at Wheeler Law Office who has helped many other clients in similar situations.