According to the Houston Chronicle, the punishment phase has begun for twice-deported Mexican citizen Johoan Rodriguez, who has now pled guilty to intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer. On May 29, 2011, the 27-year-old Rodriguez was driving with a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit when he barreled through an area that was blocked off by flares and police cars due to an earlier car wreck. Going an estimated 90 mph at the time of the accident, Rodriguez hit Houston police officer Kevin Will, killing him instantly. Will is survived by his wife, pregnant with their first child, and two stepchildren.
Although Rodriguez voluntarily pled guilty to the crime, amidst his sobs and apologies, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement regarding the appropriate punishment for this crime. The prosecutor and defense attorney have selected a jury of 12 people, including seven men and five women, to decide Rodriguez’s form and duration of punishment, which could range from probation to prison time. This trial phase is expected to last about one week.
As this case illustrates, the consequences of driving while intoxicated can range far beyond a driver’s license suspension and probation. In this case, Rodriguez’s accident resulted in the loss of life, and he could very well end up in prison for an indeterminate time period. If you are accused of driving drunk, you should immediately contact an experienced Sugar Land, Texas DWI attorney for assistance, so as to minimize your exposure to these very serious penalties.