After multiple offenses a DWI charge can change from a blemish on your record into a life altering felony DWI conviction. On June 16th, a Texas man was sentenced with 99 years in prison. Arthur Ortega, a 48 year old from Austin Texas, was pulled over by an area police officer and was found to have a BAC of .25 which is triple the legal limit. Ortega got behind the wheel after a night of drinking and almost killed the officer that pulled him over.
Ortega was arrested last year in October in Hutto, Texas when a patrol officer saw him driving in circles. When the officer approached, Ortega made a turn onto the roadway and almost hit the patrol car. The officer, after finding that Ortega has received 6 previous DWI convictions, charged him with felony DWI. At the time of the arrest, Ortega was also on parole for a 30 year burglary sentence.
After a two day trial, in Williamson County, the jury decided Ortega had used his vehicle as a deadly weapon, which contributed to the especially harsh sentence. The deadly weapon finding also means that Ortega will not be eligible for parole until he has served the first 30 years of his sentence. Yet this is not the first time that a multiple DWI offender has received a harsh sentence.
The ninth conviction was the breaking point for one Texas judge in Williamson County who sentenced a habitual drunken driver to life in prison in August 2009. Bobby Stovall, 54, was driving his truck in July when he weaved through multiple lanes of traffic and hit another vehicle, injuring the driver. It was later determined that Stovall had a blood alcohol concentration of .32, four times the legal limit in Texas. Stovall also had a history of crimes on his records as well as eight prior DWI convictions.
Whereas both of these are extreme examples of DWI cases, it shows that multiple DWI convictions are not just an embarrassing smudge on your record but rather a potentially life-altering mistake. If you have been convicted of a DWI please contact a Texas DWI attorney.