When you've had a lot to drink and see flashing lights in the rearview, you may panic and have the urge to run. That's exactly what a Houston police officer has been accused of doing. Claude Jackson, 27, was arrested for DWI earlier this month after a 7-mile police chase through Harris County. During the pursuit, Jackson reportedly ran through red lights, changed routes frequently, and was clocked at nearly 120 MPH. In the end, Jackson pulled over and surrendered to local law enforcement officers. His blood alcohol concentration was .15 at the time of his DWI arrest.
Aggravated Charges For High BAC
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Texas is .08 percent. Jackson had a BAC of .15 percent at the time of his arrest. That's the equivalent of about 7 drinks and nearly twice the legal limit. As a result, he'll face aggravated criminal DWI charges. This is true even if this is the officer's first DWI offense.
Why are DWI charges more severe when a driver's BAC equals or exceeds .15? Drivers with a BAC of .15 percent are likely to experience slowed reaction times, blurred vision, and “severe impairment to judgment, perception, and major motor skills.” This increases the likelihood of a dangerous DWI accident. In fact, research shows that drivers are 380 times more likely to be in a fatal car accident when your BAC is at .15 percent than if you were sober.
Most first-time DWIs are charged as Class B Misdemeanors. However, a first-time DWI with a BAC of .15 or greater is a Class A Misdemeanor. That's the equivalent of a second DWI offense. Penalties for DWI with BAC of .15 or greater can include:
- No less than 30 days, but no more than 12 months in jail
- Up to $4,000 in fines
- License suspension for up to 2 years; and
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
Additional Criminal Charges for Evading Police
Jackson allegedly tried to speed away from officers when they attempted to execute a traffic stop. Reports indicate that he reached speeds of 119 MPH, repeatedly got on and off a local freeway, and sped through red lights in an effort to evade officers in pursuit. In addition to facing criminal charges for DWI, Jackson has also been charged with evading arrest.
Evading arrest, as defined in Texas Penal Code Section 38.04, is defined as “intentionally fleeing from a person he knows is a peace officer or federal special investigator attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him.” Evading police in a vehicle is a state jail felony. If convicted, Jackson could face between 180 days and 2 years in jail. That would likely be in addition to his penalty for DWI.
Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm For Help
Have you been arrested for DWI in Houston? Contact the Houston DWI lawyers at the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. for immediate assistance. Our attorneys have more than 18 years of experience handling all complex DWI matters in Texas. Call today to schedule your free consultation. We'll review your case and determine the best strategy for your defense.