Red and blue lights in the rear view mirror and the sound of sirens is enough to unnerve any Sugar Land resident. Those who had a drink or two before driving may find themselves hoping for a speeding ticket instead of ending up under arrest for DWI. At that point, all they want is for the situation to be over as quickly as possible, especially if it is a first offense. However, not fighting a DWI charge now could end up resulting in harsher penalties down the road if another arrest occurs.
For instance, a 64-year-old Texas man recently received a sentence of 12 years in state prison after being convicted of a fifth DWI. His criminal record indicated convictions for DWI in 1983, 1992, and 2001. His record also showed a conviction for intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter in 2007 for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Despite the age of his prior convictions, his status as a repeat offender meant that he could spend up to 20 years in prison for his latest and fifth offence.
The jury took into consideration his prior convictions when determining his punishment for the felony DWI conviction. Some would say he was fortunate not to be sentenced to the full 20 years. However, at his age, he will be 76 years old if he serves his entire sentence. That is a long time not to be with family and friends.
Many Sugar Land residents could consider this a cautionary tale for drunk driving. However, is it also a warning that not fighting a DWI could prove costly to an individual’s future, especially if it is a first offense. Everyone makes mistakes, but that does not mean that a mistake should haunt an individual for the rest of his or her life.