JOE SHANNON, JR.
CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY
TARRANT COUNTY TEXAS
For Immediate Release December 16, 2011
Melody McDonald Man with 7 prior DWIs gets 55 years
Public Information Officer
FORT WORTH — A behind his seat.
Phone: 817-884-3120 chronic drunken driver
Smith was arrested and
with seven prior DWI
Cell: 817-821-3935 a mandatory blood draw
convictions was sen-
Email: email@example.com revealed his blood alcohol
tenced to 55 years in
concentration was .24 —
Twitter: @TarrantDAOffice prison on Friday.
three times the legal limit.
During the punishment
about 30 minutes on
phase of his trial, the jury
Thursday before convict-
heard that Smith had a
ing Michael Smith, 54, of
total of 12 prior convic-
felony DWI. tions — seven of which
During the trial, prose- were for driving while
cutors Brooke Panuthos intoxicated in Dallas Michael Smith
and Caroline Kim pre- County. The jury deliberated
sented evidence that Ar- about three hours over
He also had four prior
lington police stopped two days before assessing
felony convictions for
Smith about 4:45 p.m. on the 55-year sentence.
burglary of vehicle and
Jan. 7, 2011, after a 911
one for unauthorized use Until Friday, Smith had
caller reported erratic
of a motor vehicle. never been sentenced to
driving. more than three years in
Because he was a habit-
While officers were prison for driving while
ual offender, he faced
questioning Smith, a beer intoxicated.
from 25 years to life in
can fell out of his van and
an open beer was found prison.
“This verdict sends a message that Tarrant
County will not tolerate drunken drivers who
endanger the lives of our citizens. We hope this
sentence will deter others from driving while in-
Tim Curry Criminal
Justice Center toxicated, especially during this holiday season,”
401 W. Belknap St.
Fort Worth, TX - Assistant District Attorney Brooke Panuthos