Cases of Repeat Drunk Drivers Point to The Need for Tougher Laws Against Drunk Drivers | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

Last week, a Dallas County jury sentenced James Giraldo (27) to 20 years in prison for killing Juliana Rincon-Cuartos in October of 2009. Twenty years is the maximum sentence. Meanwhile, the sentencing of a Steward Richardson in Tarrant County was delayed as prosecutors are forced to appeal a ruling of the court that would prevent them from seeking a life sentence against a 7 time convicted drunk driver that crushed a child in a car seat.


Wrong Way Drunk Driver James Giraldo

James Giraldo’s case is the first of several highly publicized cases involving wrong way drunk drivers that caused a head-on collisions on the North Dallas Tollway in 2009. After a night of drinking at a bar, James Giraldo got in his vehicle and drove the wrong way directly into oncoming traffic on the tollway and struck a vehicle in which Juliana Rincon-Cuartas was a passenger. Three hours after the crash, Giraldo’s blood alcohol level was still 0.18 — more than twice the legal limit. Mr. Giraldo plead guilty to charges of intoxication manslaughter and asked the jury for leniency, saying he has thought about the death of 27-year-old Juliana Rincon-Cuartas every day since the accident

Giraldo’s claims of remorse fell on deaf ears when the jury heard that after being involved in this deadly drunk driving wreck, Giraldo was arrested again on another charge of DWI while driving on the tollway. According to police records, Mr. Giraldo refused to submit to a breath test or to provide a blood sample following his second arrest. While Giraldo claimed that the incident has been “one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with in my whole life, and that I think about it every day. … I think about the girl. I think about her family. I think about what I took away from the family because of my own stupidity.” According to Dallas County Prosecutor, Hermus, Giraldo’s second arrest shows that the defendant didn’t learn a lesson and needs the supervision of prison to protect the community.


7 Time Drunk Driver Trying to Avoid Life Sentence

Meanwhile, Tarrant County prosecutors have been forced to file an appeal of a pre-trial ruling that would prevent them from seeking a life prison term against Stewart Richardson for the horrific injuries he inflicted upon Abdallah Khader in a February, 2009 wreck. Tests show that Stewart Richardson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was three times the legal limit when his truck rearended Loubna Elharazin’s car at an Arlington stoplight.

Abdallah was crushed while belted in his car seat. Doctors say that up to 80 percent of his brain was destroyed in the crash. While Abdallah’s life has all but stopped, his body keeps growing, and swelling from all the steroids and medicines that keep him alive. His face and cheeks are abnormally chubby. His eyes roll, but don’t focus. His mother says, “Sometimes you see tears coming out of his eyes, but to be honest with you, we don’t know what makes him mad. All we do is hold him and try to make him comfortable.”

Prosecutors had hoped to send Richardson to prison this week for life. After all, prosecutors uncovered 7 prior drunk driving convictions in 4 other states including one drunk driving accident that resulted in injuries to several people in a 1994 crash in Iowa. However, all of the drunk driving offenses were considered to be misdemeanors. If any one of them had been classified as a felony, Richardson would have been subject to receiving a life sentence. Instead, the maximum prison sentence he can receive is 20 years. Prosecutors are appealing the judge’s ruling, and say they hope for a reversal. The appeal could cause a delay in the sentencing of Mr. Richardson by as much as a year.

Meanwhile the family of Abdallah Khader is forced to wait for justice, and to hope for a miracle to happen, something little; I lost hope.”

We at Montes Herald Law Group, LLP believe that punishing those who engage in driving while intoxicated is important, especially when the drunk driver proves time and again that he or she will continue to drive drunk. Once an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, everyone’s well being and safety is at stake. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, contact Rachel Montes. We will discuss your case with you for free and at no obligation. Contact us at (214) 5222-9401 and visit our website at for more information regarding our firm and our attorneys. Please visit Montes Herald Law Group, LLP’s Facebook website as well to get involved in our efforts to fight drunk driving.

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