Questions raised after man arrested for sixth DWI
Questions are being raised after deputies arrested a man suspected of driving drunk and, if convicted, it will be his sixth DWI.
It happened May 22 just off Mopac when deputies say they caught Albino Chavarria driving erratically and nearly causing a crash.
Three or more DWI charges is a felony and for Chavarria he's now looking at a third felony after being arrested for his sixth drunk driving offense.
“He thought he was headed south but he was headed north in the northbound lane, he ran into barricades,” Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies say Chavarria was driving his Jeep on Mopac where construction is going on and where there was also a police presence.
Chavarria was so intoxicated deputies say that he didn't know where he was and could've caused a major accident had they not caught him.
“He was a danger to himself and he was a danger to the public and we were glad to be able to get him off the road,” Wade said.
Court documents show Chavarria's first DWI arrest was in 1998 when he was arrested in Hidalgo County. Six years later he was busted again in the same county.
That makes two misdemeanor offenses until 2008 when Chavarria was arrested in Travis County and the third DWI upped to a felony. He was put on probation. Just a few months later, another DWI, again in Travis County.
It did not stop there, in April 2014, Austin police arrested Chavarria and he pleaded guilty to driving drunk. This latest incident just adds more fuel to a raging fire.
“We've had several units that were rear ended or ran into by DWI drivers while they're blocking lanes of traffic for the Department of Transportation workers,” Wade said.
A big question is how Chavarria was able to get behind the wheel while intoxicated so many times.
A new law passed last legislative session aims to stop this from happening. Some people convicted of a first-time DWI can opt for an ignition interlock system in their car. It blocks the engine from starting if the driver has booze on their breath.
Before this law, driver's licenses were suspended.