But Why Did It Take So Long?
Ivy Ray Eberhardt had a whopping blood alcohol concentration of .303 percent when he climbed behind the wheel on April 13, 2014. Fortunately, an off-duty police noticed the erratic driver and called the Weatherford Police Department to stop Eberhardt before he killed someone.
Eberhardt was swerving his car, going the wrong way, and driving with a BAC nearly four times the legal limit!
When he stumbled out of his vehicle, officers noted he reeked of alcohol and urine and had an almost empty 750 ml bottle of whiskey in his vehicle.
This case would be horrific under any circumstances, but this was not Eberhardt’s first time, or even second or third. He has already been arrested 12 times for DWI. 10 of those drunk driving arrests ended in a conviction. And undoubtedly he has driven drunk many more times than he was actually caught. Maybe every day.
What is going on out there?
Parker County District Judge Craig Towson sentenced the 62 year-old to life in prison, explaining as he pronounced the sentence:
Part of my job is to protect the citizens of Parker County, and the only way that I can think of to do that from somebody that has 12 DWI arrests and 10 DWI convictions is to put you in a place that you can’t drive for as long as I possibly can.
Eberhardt is up for parole in 15 years. Hopefully, the parole board will recognize that nothing but incarceration can stop this man from driving drunk, even at age 77.
Consider Eberhardt’s history of driving drunk:
- 1980s to 1990s — Four misdemeanor DWI convictions in Travis and Tarrant counties
- 1998 — Felony DWI conviction in Parker County
- 2001 — Felony DWI conviction in Tarrant County
- 2004 — Felony DWI conviction in Runnels County
- 2010 — Felony DWI conviction in Colorado
- 2015 — Felony DWI conviction in Colorado
- 2016 — Felony DWI conviction in Parker County
In fact, while Eberhardt was out of jail awaiting trial in this Texas case, he cut off his electronic monitor and took off to Colorado, where he was arrested for his 12th DWI. Seems to be a lot of DWI offenders fleeing Texas lately.
We applaud this appropriate life sentence, but why did it take so long to say enough is enough?
Although Eberhardt’s conduct is shocking, it is not that unusual. MADD estimates that one-third of drivers convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
Berenson Injury Law advocates for harsher drunk driving laws that target these repeat — and all — intoxicated offenders.