Man Awarded Lightened Sentence for Fifth DWI

Few things can be as intimidating as a repeat DWI charge. Allegations of drunk driving and potential sentencing in the face of a past conviction can carry extremely strict and lengthy prison time, monetary fines, and probation time. However, an arrest, charge, or even conviction of a repeat DWI does not have to mean years lost behind bars.

Last week a Des Peres man was sentenced to only four months in prison, despite pleading guilty of a felony charge and being listed as a chronic offender in St. Louis County for his fifth DWI offense since 1986. Friday, however, was his first day in prison.

The man, 47, received his fifth DWI after he collided with two cars attempting to leave a restaurant’s drive-through in December. Police responding to the accident found the man to have a .426 blood-alcohol content, over five times the legal limit for driving.

This, his second felony DWI charge ordinarily would have carried a minimum of five years in prison if convicted. In this case, a strong defense was able to secure a guilty plea to a lesser felony charge, bringing four months in prison in addition to drug treatment and extended probation. The sentence was claimed to be appropriate by defense and “will offer [him] the chance to get help with his drinking problem.”

In the St. Louis area, where those facing trial for DWI often win sentencing that limits or foregoes prison in favor of treatment programs and probation, even a repeat drunk driving offense can have its sentence softened. With the help of legal defense specializing in local DWI law, those facing charges can look forward to bright prospects and the chance to avoid serious charges and lengthy jail time.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Des Peres man gets four months in prison for fifth DWI,” Joel Currier, Nov. 4, 2012

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