Long Prison Term Reflects the True Impact of the Crime
A Fort Worth court sentenced a severely intoxicated driver who killed a young boy to 50 years in prison on Wednesday. And Stewart Richardson had a whopping six prior DWI convictions in four states. His punishment for those six? Only 50 days in jail prior to this fatal drunk driving accident.
Over six years ago, Richardson crashed into the rear of a Honda Accord stopped at a red light. Abdallah Khader, who was not yet three years old at the time, tragically suffered severe brain damage and remained in a vegetative state until he died years later this past January.
Richardson’s blood alcohol content was .25 percent — more than three times the legal limit to drive in Texas.
Texas Ignition Interlocks Law Gets Repeat Offenders Off the Road
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that about one-third of drivers arrested for DWI are repeat offenders. MADD has spearheaded efforts around the country to pass laws aimed at halting the pattern of repeat offenses. Bravo, MADD!
In June the Texas legislature finally passed an ignition interlocks device law that allows first time DWI offenders to opt for installation of the device in exchange for restricted driving privileges. An offender who chooses not to accept the device is not permitted an occupational license, which allows a person convicted of DWI to drive only to work, to school, to doctor appointments and other essential places.
Before passage of this law, only people who were convicted of a DWI with a BAC of .15 or higher was required to install an ignition interlock device in order to be eligible for the occupational license. Now an occupational license is only available to those who agree to the device, regardless of the driver’s BAC.
The law may not have stopped Richardson, but it is a powerful step for stopping repeat offenders.
Bill Berenson Injury Law Advocates for Stiff DWI Penalties in Texas
Berenson Injury Law Firm advocates for stiffer DWI penalties as a sponsor of MADD. For more information about drunk driving and for help with your case, call our office at 817-885-8000. Your first consultation is free.