A judge sentenced a man in Montgomery County (Texas) to life imprisonment following his 12th DWI conviction.
District Judge Phil Grant handed down the sentence after he found Joe Ford Woods, Jr. guilty of driving while intoxicated. Woods was arrested by a State Trooper after he drove away from a scene where he crashed his vehicle into a stop sign. The Trooper found Woods passed out behind the steering wheel and Woods’ BAC measured at .269, three times the legal limit.
At the time of the arrest, Woods was out on parole after serving part of a 20-year sentence for a previous DWI.
While Montgomery County represents more than 15% of Texas’s inmates serving life for DWI, Woods’s 12th conviction may be a new record for the county.
In Texas state prisons, offenders serving life sentences for DWI account for more than 6,600 inmates according to the Texas State Department of Criminal Justice. While in the grand scheme of things, the total number of DWI offenders serving life sentences is small in comparison to those serving life for other crimes, their detention still costs tax-payers approximately $150 million a year.
Do you agree with Judge Grant that a life sentence for Woods’s conviction was a proper one “given the fact that this was [his] 12th DWI and obviously this system has given [him] every opportunity to make any rehabilitative effort that [he] could have?” Pennsylvania has no corollary to this harsh law, as the judiciary is curtailed from warehousing people in DUI cases by much lower maximum permissible sentences. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.