Unless you seriously injure or kill someone while driving drunk, a DUI conviction probably isn’t going to result in a long-term prison sentence. However, defendants should be aware that the more convictions they rack up, the more likely they are to serve time. And if a judge wants to make an example or send a message, they may have wide discretion to do so.
This kind of harsh sentence is uncommon for those with drunken driving convictions. Usually, convictions result in temporary license suspensions and perhaps a stint in prison. But in most cases, the defendant is ultimately released and eventually allowed back on the road. This case raises the question of how many times a person has to be caught driving legally drunk before the judge will lock them up for a long time?
Take the recent case of a 56-year-old Houston man with eight prior convictions for DUI. Upon his ninth conviction for DUI – after he pleaded guilty to the charge – the judge sentenced him to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 30 years. Continue reading