Thursday, May 26, 2005

8th DWI Conviction Results In A Life Sentence

A Williamson County jury sentenced a Marshall man to life in prison today, a day after he received his eighth drunk driving conviction since 1986.

Gary Gibbs, a 49-year-old country and western singer, will not be eligible for parole for 30 years. Jurors deliberated for more than an hour before bringing back the life sentence about noon.

On Wednesday, the jury convicted Gibbs for the Dec. 5, 2003, incident in Georgetown, in which Gibbs was seen swerving and cutting across several lanes of traffic on Interstate 35. Tuesday, Georgetown police officer Jason Jones testified that Gibbs' breath smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.

Jurors also watched a videotape of Gibbs performing field sobriety tests, such as walking nine steps heel to toe and balancing on one leg.

Click here to actually watch the video

"That's enough — I've seen enough," Jones said on the tape after watching Gibbs stumble repeatedly and stray into the road while attempting to stand and walk heel to toe.

Gibbs completed a four-year prison sentence in 2001 and was not arrested again until 2003.

Gibbs is one of a small group of DWI offenders who have a large number of DWI convictions, statistics show. In 2002, about 35,359 drivers had four or more DWI convictions, compared with more than 800,000 drivers who had one DWI conviction on their record, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In 2002, about 750 Texas drivers had amassed eight DWI convictions, Texas Department of Public Safety statistics show. One person had 23 convictions.

Full Story

Click here for help with your Williamson County DWI