Driver Gets Life in Prison over Eighth DWI Conviction

Cornelio Garcia-Mata was charged with a first degree felony

Cornelio Garcia-Mata from Guadalupe County, Texas, stands to spend his life in jail following his eighth conviction for drunk driving. The 45-year-old Texas resident will be eligible for parole in 30 years.

Following 7 convictions for felony charges, all in Guadalupe county, this DWI was not treated as a third degree felony, punishable with 10 years in prison, ATL Night Spots reports. His car was deemed a deadly weapon, and the serial offender was charged with assault, a first degree felony.

The first time he got caught driving under the influence of alcohol was in 1990. His second DWI incident was recorded as he was still on probation, following the first charge. His latest, which might also be his last, as he will be getting out of prison at 75, happened in February.

On February 26, 2012, he was caught on camera as he was stopped by a traffic officer. He was pulled over at around 6 p.m. off Interstate 35 in New Braunfels, while driving his truck.

Although visibly intoxicated, he refused to admit he had been drinking.

“How much alcohol have you been drinking today?,” he was asked by the officer. “I’m not drinking,” he replied.

An investigation revealed that Garcia-Mata's blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit by far, even topping it five times. It showed he had drunk at least 23 beers.

“Subsequent blood tests shows that his blood alcohol was .446,” Comal County Chief Felony Prosecutor Sammy McCrary says.

The jury only took 20 minutes to deliberate, and they came back with a guilty verdict. This will be Garcia-Mata's second time in jail. In 2008, he was imprisoned for less than two years, having been sentenced to six years with probation, for yet another DWI.

“It was a good verdict for the community. That’s somebody we won’t have to worry about killing somebody,” the prosecutor adds.

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