A Weatherford, Texas man was sentenced to life in prison after he pled guilty to a 10th driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense. District Judge Craig Towson sentenced Ivy Ray Eberhardt, 62, to life in prison after accumulating 12 DWI arrests followed by 10 DWI convictions.

The initial case that brought Eberhardt in front of Judge Towson began on April 13, 2014. An off-duty officer reported a reckless driver on Fort Worth Highway. After an officer arrived and located his car, the officer noticed Eberhardt swerving and driving down the wrong lane of the street. Once pulled over, according to Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Catania who tried the case, Eberhardt kept handing credit cards to the officer instead of his driver’s license.

From there, he failed field sobriety tests and smelled of alcohol and urine according to the officer. The officer discovered a 750 ml bottle of whiskey in the car, with maybe a fifth of the bottle remaining. The officer was alerted to the bottle by Eberhardt during his arrest.

According to Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, Eberhardt’s case took so long to conclude because he cut off his ankle monitor, skipped bond and headed to Colorado. Once there, he was arrested for another alcohol-related offense. Once he finished serving his sentence in Colorado, he was brought back to Texas to face trial.

Eberhardt was convicted of four DWI misdemeanor offenses in the ‘80s and ‘90s. In 1998, 2001, and 2004 he served prison sentences on felony DWI charges. While in Colorado in 2010 and 2015, he was also convicted of DWI offenses.

Judge Towson said during the verdict:

“Part of my job is to protect the citizens of Parker County and the only way that I can think of to do that from somebody that has 12 DWI arrests and 10 DWI convictions is to put you in a place that you can’t drive for as long as I possibly can.”

Eberhardt will be eligible for parole in 15 years and can receive credit towards time served for good behavior. It will be up the parole board to decide whether he serves less than his life sentence.

Credit: Weatherford Democrat