ETX man gets life in prison for drunk driving, blood alcohol level was .40

ETX man gets life in prison for drunk driving, blood alcohol level was .40
Photo provided by Henderson County Jail.

POSTED: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 3:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 4:45pm

A Texas judge sentenced a 62-year-old man to life in prison following his guilty plea to his seventh DWI charge. The man was arrested back in September 2012 after he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole and a subsequent test revealed that his blood alcohol level was a .40.

“It is beyond comprehension [he] was back on the street after so many prior DWIs.” District Attorney Scott McKee said to the jury. “Somewhere our system has failed when a man with 11 prior DWIs is allowed to have a driver’s license and is even out of jail and on the streets.”

Richard King Morris of Chandler, TX, was issued the life sentence by Judge Mark Calhoon on Thursday, Sept. 12. The sentence came after two-days of testimony, including testimony from Morris on his own behalf.

A witness also testified to seeing Morris passed out at the wheel shortly before he crashed his vehicle into the utility pole. This is consistent with the .40 blood alcohol level that was registered from the blood sample that was taken while he was receiving medical treatment.

A blood alcohol level of .30 to .50 includes symptoms of unconsciousness, depressed or absent reflexes, subnormal body temperatures, incontinence, and impairment of circulation and respiration. A .40 BAC can be fatal and a .45 or higher is absolutely fatal.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Hall asked the jury in closing arguments to “put aside an emotional argument from the defense for leniency in order to do something you know you must do in order to protect others.”

--Information for this report provided by our sister station KETK.

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