Man With 4 DWIs Says Legal Limit Discriminates Against Alcoholics
A Texas man tried to argue that Texas' legal limit discriminated against alcoholics after his fourth DWI arrest. San Antonio resident Ralph Alfred Friesenhahn was convicted of his fourth DWI in 2016 and he tried to overturn his four-year prison sentence by arguing "Texas' legal limit on intoxicated driving discriminates against alcoholics." Friesenhahn's argument is that frequent drinkers have a higher tolerance for alcohol than most, and the state's driving limit of 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration ignores that. He goes as far to say there is a "protected class of alcoholics" that are being prosecuted without proving that they have indeed lost control of their motor skills.
This would be an interesting argument and the court may have even be more inclined to listen, if it weren't for the fact that this was not only his fourth DWI but he also got into a single car accident. Blood tests showed that he was almost four times over the legal limit, with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.29. The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals didn't seem to agree with this argument though, saying that the law is applied equally to all drivers and doesn't single out any specific group. Sammy McCrary, chief of the felony division for the Comal County criminal district attorney’s office, said that its "ridiculous to think that the law treats alcoholics any different:
“You’re not being punished for being an alcoholic. It’s the driving that’s the problem. It’s making the decision to get into a 3,000-pound vehicle … after drinking.”
You can read more about this story at the Statesman website.