Texas DUI Suspect Hit with Unusually Large $500,000 Bond
By: Mike Stetzer
A Henderson, Texas man who tried to tamper with the ignition interlock device on his vehicle was hit with a big surprise following his third DUI arrest in the last two years and second such charge in the last three months.
Instead of being hit with a standard $500 bond for his DWI Class B misdemeanor, 77-year-old Ray Edwards was set back by a staggering $500,000 bond at the request of the District Attorney's Office.
Rusk County Justice of the Peace Bob Richardson said in an online Tyler Paper story that Edwards, a repeat offender, is considered a danger to the public, especially after trying to surpass an ignition interlock that was mandated on his vehicle.
Currently, first-time DUI offenders in Rusk County (located in northwest Texas) spend a mandatory seven days in jail, face a maximum of two years of probation and must install an ignition interlock device at their own expense. In comparison, Texas state DUI laws make ignition interlock devices mandatory and require three days in jail following a first-time DUI offense.
As for two-time DUI offenders in Rusk County, DUI penalties are upped to 21 days in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Assistant District Attorney Carl Barber said in the story that Rusk County would like to further boost the penalties for drunk driving in the county. He even advocated that the county will continue to use creative means to curb drunk driving.
For example, did you know that Rusk County is one of 46 dry counties in the state?
With that interesting tidbit in mind, Rusk County is certainly getting creative in terms of Edwards' DUI case, as the $500,000 bond certainly depicts. While Barber said in the story that sometimes the "click of a jail cell" or probation will set a DUI offender on the straight and narrow path, maybe a $500,000 hit will do the same thing for Barber.
A $500,000 bond for a misdemeanor DUI is unusual to say the least, as the following figures reveal.
- The standard bond for a first-time Georgia DUI is $1,000. As for second and third time Georgia DUI offenses within a five-year period, the bond is boosted to $3,000 (if you're wondering, that's $497,000 less than what Edwards is currently facing in Rusk County).
- In Georgetown, Ohio (which is a part of Brown County), the bond for driving with impaired alertness & ability or using drugs is $177! Bond is also set at $177 for consuming liquor in a motor vehicle and abusing drugs in a vehicle. As for operating a vehicle under the influence, first-time offenders typically have bond set at $573 with a second such Ohio DUI offense increasing by $500 and a third offense by $1,000 in this county. A fourth-such offense is considered a felony. As for driving OVI with a suspended license, bond is set at $1,000 for a first or second offense within six years.
- Bonds for class 2 felonies in the 14th District of Colorado are set at $50,000 ($450,000 less than what Edwards is facing in Rusk County for a misdemeanor).