Texas Jury Gives Woman Life Sentence Following Sixth DWI

Recently, a jury in Texas sentenced a 44-year-old woman to life in prison following her sixth driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction. According to the District Attorney's Office involved in the prosecution, the woman was arrested last summer after police claim she was driving erratically with an open container of beer in the vehicle. The DA's office further stated that the woman's five previous DWI convictions date all the way back to 1996.

While this particular sentence is extremely harsh due to the woman's previous drunk driving violations, it does illustrate how the severity of penalties can drastically increase when drivers face multiple Texas DWI convictions.

PUNISHMENTS IN TEXAS FOLLOWING MULTIPLE DWI OFFENSES

As with most states, penalties for DWI offenses in Texas rise with each conviction. For instance, a driver convicted of his or her first DWI in Texas can face several penalties, including:

  • Jail time of three days to 180 days.
  • A fine up to $2,000.
  • Loss of driver's license for up to a year.

However, penalties for a second Texas DWI conviction increase significantly, which can include:

  • Jail time of 30 days to one year.
  • A fine up to $4,000.
  • Loss of driver's license up to two years.

For those Texas drivers with three DWI convictions, penalties are even harsher:

  • Incarceration in prison for two to 10 years.
  • A fine up to $10,000.
  • Loss of driver's license up to two years.

Also, Texas drivers with two or more DWI convictions within five years will be required to install ignition interlock devices - which are devices that prevent a vehicle from being started until the driver provides a breath sample in order to prove he or she has not been drinking.

However, the number of previous DWI convictions is not the only factor that can lead to increased drunk driving penalties in Texas. For example, an intoxicated driver arrested with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle can be punished up to two years in jail, fined up to $10,000 and lose his or her driver's license for 180 days.

Given the severity of penalties following multiple DWI convictions in Texas, it is more imperative than ever to seek the counsel of an experienced DWI defense attorney if facing drunk driving charges. A skilled attorney can review the circumstances of your arrest and help ensure your rights are protected.