San Antonio, TX- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous. We all know that, but it doesn’t stop people from putting theirs and other lives in danger. We expect this sort of behavior from some people but we don’t expect the very people tasked with protecting and saving lives, like firefighters, to callously put lives in danger. Sadly, it happens and in San Antonio it happens too often.
The San Antonio Fire Department announced this week they would be changing their suspension rules is response to multiple DWI arrests for San Antonio firefighters. KENS 5 reports that SAFD will increase suspension times for a first-time DWI arrest from 15 days to 60 days and firefighters facing the charge will be required to participate in a mandatory substance abuse program. Firefighters with two DWI arrests will be immediately terminated.
If you have been charged with a DWI in Texas, you may not realize what penalties you could be facing if you’re convicted. A conviction for a first offense carries a minimum jail sentence of 3 days to 6 months, along with a $2,000 fine and a minimum 90-day license suspension. Even worse, a DWI conviction in Texas never comes off of your record. That means than no matter how much time has passed between your arrests, they will count against you even if the arrest was 30 years ago. That is reason enough to hire one of our talented San Antonio DWI attorneys to craft your DWI defense.
This new, harsher stance towards DWI came after a number of firefighters were arrested for DWI over the past several months, according to KENS 5.
Firefighter Patrick Higgins was arrested for DWI on July 25th when motorists saw him weaving on the road. One day later, Christopher Hildebrand was charged with DWI in Medina County. In September, fire fighter David Saenz was charged with his second DWI, the first was from 2013.
Another San Antonio firefighter, Lieutenant Lee Michael Stanphill, 39, resigned this week following his third DWI arrest. Stanphill was most recently charge with DWI in October and has two prior arrests; one from 2009 and another from 2012.
KENS 5 says that between 2010 and 2010, 15 San Antonio firefighters were arrested for driving while intoxicated. The hope is that tougher suspension rules will keep be curtail this problem. These rules also go to show that drunk driving is serious and can affect a person’s job prospects and keep them from following their dreams.
Nobody’s perfect, not even firefighters or police. We all make mistakes, some just happen to make mistakes that can lead to incarceration, like driving while intoxicated. Texas laws regarding DWI are tough and are meant to keep driver from making the same mistake twice. If you do get a second or third DWI offense you really need expert legal counsel. A Texas DWI attorney is you best hope at avoiding a repeat conviction or minimizing your penalties.