You could be jailed for life for DWI in Texas if you receive repeated convictions. In Weatherford, Texas, a man recently received a life sentence for his seventh conviction.
Police arrested James Eric Nachlinger from Scurry County in West Texas 10 times. He was convicted of seven DWIs, reported the Star-Telgram.
The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to a DWI charge from last July. Jeff Swain, Parker County assistant district attorney, said Nachlinger elected to have state District Judge Craig Towson assess his sentence.
The DWI driver previously received a custodial sentence for four other felony charges. The case was handled under Texas’ habitual offender law, Swain said.
Nachlinger was apprehended by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper on July 28.
He was seen driving erratically on Interstate 20 in western Parker County. A blood test revealed a blood-alcohol content of more than three times the legal driving limit, prosecutors said.
According to media reports, the judge told Nachlinger he would be jailed for life to protect the public.
After being sentenced to 66 years in prison, Nachlinger is said to have told authorities he still drinks “because he likes it.”
This case from Weatherford highlights the tough stance Texas takes on repeat DWI offenders. Although it’s relatively rare to be jailed for life for DWI, judges sometimes deny a driver of his or her liberty for a string of drunk driving arrests.
Last year, a judge in Montgomery County, Texas, handed a life sentence to a DWI driver. Donald Middleton was arrested by police on May 30, 2015, on a DWI charge. It was his ninth since 1980. After causing a wreck while drunk, he was jailed for life for DWI.
You can find out more about DWI offenses here on our website. In Texas, even first-time DWI offenders can lose their liberty.
If you have been charged with DWI or DUI, please call our experienced Austin drunk driving defense lawyers at (512) 399-2311.