Skip to comments.Drunk driver had medical license revoked[Eight-time DWI offender was released after serving 36 days]
Posted on 12/20/2007 5:50:25 PM PST by SwinneySwitch
Court testimony earlier this month that a repeat drunken driver was a skilled X-ray technician and should be spared a seven-year prison sentence did not disclose that the man has not been licensed in his field for almost two years.
Hector De la Torres state license as a medical radiologic technologist expired Dec. 31, 2005, Stephanie Tijerina of the Texas Department of State Health Services said Wednesday.
On Dec. 6, after hearing testimony from Dr. Juan Rocha and others in the medical field, state District Court Judge Benjamin Euresti placed De la Torre on probation so he could return to work.
Rocha, a podiatrist who spoke at the Dec. 6 hearing, said, It is necessary that (De la Torre) return to work.
Attorney Ernesto Gamez in court described his client as a damn good employee.
Gamez said at the time that De la Torres employers are Lower Valley Imaging and Legacy, an X-ray facility.
No telephone listings were available for this company.
Employees at other X-ray and imaging companies in Harlingen, Brownsville and McAllen said they have never heard of the company.
De la Torre, Rocha and Gamez were not available for comment on Wednesday.
Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos was also unavailable for comment.
De la Torre must reapply to renew his expired license to perform X-rays and related work, Tijerina said.
But De la Torre could now be denied a professional license because he is a convicted felon, according to Section 53.02 of the Texas Occupations Code, if his drunken driving conviction directly related to his job duties.
De la Torre has eight DWI convictions, four of which were felonies, court records show.
Euresti on Nov. 1 sentenced De la Torre, 34, to seven years for violating the terms of his probation from a 2004 drunken driving arrest, court records state.
Gamez earlier said his clients probation was revoked in November because he tampered with an ignition interlock device in his car that required him to take a breath test for alcohol each time he started the vehicle.
Gamez requested that Euresti reconsider the seven-year sentence. In the Dec. 6 court appearance, Euresti granted the motion, suspending the prison sentence and reinstating probation.
Although De la Torres drivers license is now listed as clear on Department of Public Safety records, DPS sometimes administratively revokes or suspends a drivers license because the driver either refuses to take a blood-alcohol test or tests above the legal limit of 0.08, DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said.
If a police agency stops a driver and they either refuse to take a blood-alcohol test or test above the limit, that agency will forward the report to the DPS, she said. The DPS will then send a letter to the driver informing them their license is suspended for two years, she said.
If that motorist wants to appeal Administrative License Revocation, they have 15 days to request an appeal hearing, she said. The action is separate from any court action, she said.
De la Torres tally of eight DWI convictions according to court records is hardly a record, Mange said.
Weve got people with more than 20 DWIs. I know of one with 24, Mange said. Over 90,000 DWI arrests a year are made in Texas, she said.
Ana Verley, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the organization has received telephone calls and e-mails demanding that MADD do something about the De la Torre case.
But the group does not take actions such as monitoring the DAs office or making statements against a judge or district attorney or taking any actions that might be considered favoring or pressuring a public official or getting involved in politics, Verley said.
It is up to those people (who called or e-mailed) to do something, she said. They live in that community.
Eight-time DWI offender released from jail after serving 36 days[of 7 year sentence]
MADD’s answer to this is to lower the limit even further to something ludicrous like .02% .
I think MADD has lost sight of the real problem and has become focused on prohibition.
Lordy, Swinney—reading this one could get the impression that it happened in Mexico. There are still some of us Anglo folks living here, aren’t there? LOL!
Thanks for the ping.
“Hector De la Torres state license as a medical radiologic technologist expired Dec. 31, 2005,...””
His lawyer’s license should be permanently revoked, IMO, for outright lying in court and on the record.
Sounds like the AG and maybe the federales need to get involved. Who all has he X-rayed over the past 2 years?
Nobody is answering their phone,...if they have a phone! LOL!
I’m not a MADD fan, but this guy is a monkeybarrel full of trouble. EIGHT DUIs, four of them felonies?
He can’t learn? the guy is so smart he can’t learn or realize he needs help? He needs to be in jail to get sober and stay sober. He needs to be in AA the rest of his life. He shouldn’tbe able to drive. He is a friggin drunk danger! Half of us’d be screaming if he killed someone hammered.
I agree. danger to society! Yet....these people are drunks, they AREN’T capable of thinking rationally. They AREN’T going to do the responsible thing because their junkies!
personally I don’t think the laws are fixing this problem. Why can’t we do something other than arrest them, throw them in court, fine them.
why don’t we figure out a way to take away their alcohol?
why don’t we give anyone arrested for DWI a “special” drivers license that says “do not sell alcohol to this person”. and have everyone who sells alcohol check licenses?
And anyone caught buying for these people should be punished by stiff fine etc...
just a thought.
Another stupid judge story....
I absolutely agree. My point is that MADD doesn't get this as an organization. Although a sixteen-year-old with a .08 is likely quite dangerous (and illegal at .01), it is statistically the repeat-repeat offender blowing .2 that kills people. However, MADD falsely assumes that lowering the legal limit would reduce fatalities. The number of legal drinking age adults that cause accidents at .08 is about the same as those at .00.
You can take away someone's license, but what is the penalty for driving without one? Once a person is willing to spend a night or two in jail without flinching, there isn't much in our laws to deter them from driving drunk and driving without a license.