Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Maybe that wasn't such a bad idea...

From this morning's Chron:

DALLAS — A car driven by a drunken driving suspect with four previous DWI arrests and an invalid license raced away from a sheriff's deputy, ran a red light, then went airborne after a wreck and landed on top of an SUV, killing a newlywed couple inside, authorities said.
Second-grade teacher Erika Clouet, 24, and her husband of a little over a month, construction worker and aspiring musician German Clouet, 23, of Irving, were killed in the accident early Monday.
The driver, Uriel Perez Palacios, 22, of Dallas, remained in the hospital Tuesday in fair condition, Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kim Leach said. His passenger had to be cut from the vehicle and also was hospitalized. She is in critical condition.
Officials on Tuesday charged Palacios with two counts of murder and three counts of intoxication assault. A phone listing for Palacios could not be found.
The murder charges are believed to be the first time a Dallas County prosecutor has pursued a DWI case as murder, Leach said.
Dallas County authorities Tuesday were still piecing together Palacios' extensive arrest record. He'd been arrested as recently as June for driving while intoxicated and was released after paying a $500 fine. He also was involved in two police chases and had four outstanding warrants, officials said.
After a DWI arrest in 2007, his bail was set at $3,500, increased to $100,000 and then lowered back to $3,500, Leach said. It is unclear why the judge lowered the bail, which Palacios paid.
Back in my driver's ed class in the early '90s, my instructor told the class that in El Salvador, drunk drivers got put in front of a firing squad. When I see stories like this, I think that wouldn't be such a bad idea here.