A man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Thursday after a DWI conviction told authorities that black ice caused him to skid and strike a utility pole.
Authorities may not have believed William Paul West, 54, because his wreck occurred Aug. 12, 2016 in southern Parker County off of U.S. 377, a news release from the Parker County District Attorneys Office stated.
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Authorities also noted that the results from West's blood test after his arrest were more than four times (0.361) the legal limit of 0.08, the release said. It was the sixth time West had been arrested on a DWI charge, according to Jeff Swain, Parker County assistant district attorney.
“Black ice on the roads in August in Texas? When I read that in the trooper’s report, I almost spit out my coffee,” said Swain, who initially prosecuted the case. "Coming up with that as his excuse for the wreck was a huge indicator that Mr. West was intoxicated.”
West will be eligible for parole when he has served a quarter of his sentence, the release said.
Court records were introduced during the trial showing jurors that West had prior convictions for four misdemeanor DWI cases, one felony DWI offense, for which he received a three-year prison sentence, and a felony criminal nonsupport conviction, the release said.
“Not only did Mr. West have an extremely high alcohol concentration, he desperately did not want the judge or jury to have that information,” said Larry Fadler, who prosecuted the case with Abby Placke. Both are Parker County assistant district attorneys.
“The jury got to see video of him repeatedly telling the trooper he would fight him if they tried to take his blood, even with a search warrant."