Dallas Man Gets 55-Years in Prison After 8th DWI

Michael Smith had seven driving while intoxicated convictions in Dallas County

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    Tarrant County
    Michael Smith, 54, will be required to serve nearly 14 years of his 55-year prison sentence before he is eligible for parole.

    A Dallas man has received a 55-year prison sentence for his eighth drunken-driving conviction.

    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that a jury sentenced 54-year-old Michael Smith to the prison term Friday after convicting him a day earlier.

    The jury took only about 30 minutes to find him guilty.

    Arlington police stopped Smith about 4:45 p.m. Jan. 7 after a 911 call about an erratic driver. Officials say a beer can fell out of his van while officers were questioning Smith, and an open beer was found behind his seat. 

    A test revealed that his blood-alcohol level was 0.24 percent -- three times the legal limit.

    Authorities say Smith has 12 prior convictions, including seven for DWI from Dallas County.