Texas Court Upholds Life Sentence for Woman’s Third Felony DUI Conviction
According to the Austin-American Statesman, a state appeals court in Texas has affirmed the life sentence imposed on Rose Ann Davidson under habitual offender provisions in 2012.
This was purportedly Davidson’s third DUI conviction since 2008. In Texas, a third DUI is punished as a felony. The Texas habitual offender law requires at least two prior felony convictions, so it is unclear why Davidson’s two previous DUIs qualified as felonies. Under Texas law, even a first or second DUI can qualify as a felony if committed while having a passenger under 15 years of age, or when involved in an accident that results in serious bodily injury to another.
In Colorado, DUI related felonies, such as DUI vehicular assault, can also qualify a person for habitual offender prosecution, but there is currently no “magic number” that raises a single DUI to felony status.