11th drunken driving arrest nets man 30-year prison sentence

San Juan Garcia, 57, said he didn't have time to get help with drinking problem

By Van Darden - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - A man who once said he did not have time to get help for his drinking problem was sentenced to 30 years in prison in connection with his 11th drunken driving charge.

San Juan Garcia, 57, was first arrested on a DWI charge on March 17, 1982, District Attorney Nico LaHood said in a statement.

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Over the next 32 years, Garcia was arrested 10 more times on drunken driving charges.

His latest, on Jan. 10, 2014, involved the serious injury of a motorcyclist. Garcia admitted to police at the time that he had drunk four to six beers and blamed the motorcyclist for the crash.

LaHood said Garcia even blamed the arresting officer, telling him he had ruined his life. Toxicology results showed Garcia had a blood alcohol concentration of .21, more than twice the legal limit.

Garcia’s sixth drunken driving arrest, in 1989, resulted in a five-year prison sentence. He spent another six years in prison after his 10th drunken driving arrest, in 2004.

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During his trial for that arrest, Garcia admitted that he had a problem with alcohol, but said he “did not have time to get help,” LaHood said.

Jurors on Monday found Garcia guilty of DWI third or more, with a deadly weapon finding, in relation to the 2014 arrest.

LaHood said because Garcia is a habitual offender, the punishment range for that charge was enhanced to a minimum of 25 years with a maximum of 99 years. He said due to the deadly weapon finding, Garcia will have to serve 15 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.

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