Central Texas woman faces possible life in prison after multiple DWIs

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A McLennan County Grand Jury has indicted a Central Texas woman for DWI, and she could face up to life in prison for being a repeat offender. 

Barbara Jean Poston, 45, was arrested Sept. 9 after overturning her truck in the median on Highway 6 near FM-3222 while DPS claimed she was under the influence of alcohol. 

"On several occasions, Poston spoke to herself and exhibited random, rapid and erratic head and extremity movements that seemed sudden," DPS Trooper Matthew Cline wrote in her arrest affidavit. 

During the field sobriety tests, Trooper Cline wrote Poston said she had to sing the alphabet in order to recite it correctly.

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"On one occasion, Poston also exclaimed she was a 'moron,'" Cline wrote in the affidavit.

After looking into Poston's history, Channel 6 News found out this was the sixth time she had been charged with DWI in the last 13 years. Texas Department of Public Safety records showed Poston had been convicted of three misdemeanors and two felonies for DWI.  According to DPS documents, her earliest known DWI conviction was in 1994, and the most recent was in 2015 -- for which she was sentenced to six years behind bars. She did not serve the full six years.

In a phone conversation on Wednesday, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said Poston could now face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

But, at least one local lawmaker we spoke with Thursday, said we might not be in this position if Poston had received a harsher sentence in the first place.

"If someone commits a crime, and it's a crime against society and the laws of the state, I think they need to serve the punishment that is assigned to them." Texas State Representative Hugh Shine said in an interview Thursday. "I think Texas laws are strong enough for the most part, there may be some exceptions. Still it is the responsibility of the court to administer the justice."

After looking through DPS records, Channel 6 News found out Poston was given well below the maximum punishment in previous convictions. On her first offense in 1994,  she only got 60 days in prison out of a possible six months. After being charged with a class A misdemeanor 1997, Poston could have served up to a year in prison, but again got 60 days. On her third DWI in 2008, Poston was originally facing a third degree felony charge and a minimum of two years in prison, but then the charge was reduced to a Class B misdemeanor and she was given six months. It was not until her fourth DWI Poston was charged with her first felony. 

Shine said courts need to better enforce the laws on the books in these cases. 

"When I look at a situation where you've got repeated DWIs, something needs to happen there to stop that," Shine said.