Fun_People Archive
8 Feb
"Habitual" and the legal fine points

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 96 04:47:01 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: "Habitual" and the legal fine points

[This guy wouldn't be a Congressman, would he?  -psl]

Forwarded-by: (James Mullany)
From: the Santa Fe _New Mexican_, February 7, 1996:

[excerpted from article by Steve Terrell (c) 1996 The New Mexican]

A Santa Fe man who police say has been arrested 18 times on drunken 

driving charges pleaded guilty to his latest DWI on Tuesday.

However, Joe Leonard Rael, of Santa Fe, said he plans to challenge his 

previous convictions in an attempt to avoid sentencing as a repeat offender.

"I'm not a habitual offender," he said. "I used to be habitual."

Under state law, which went into effect in 1994, a person with three or 

more prior DWIs faces a mandatory 6 month jail sentence and up to 20 

months in prison for any additional convictions.

According to the police report of Rael's most recent arrest, breath tests 

showed Rael with a blood alcohol content of .23%. The legal limit in New 

Mexico is .08%

In November 1990, Rael was arrested - and later convicted - of DWI. He 

told authorities after that arrest that he had been on his way to a 

meeting with a Municipal Court drunken-driving program official.

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