“It's his repeated behavior that you have to respond to.” Those words come from Travis County Assistant District Attorney Claire Dawson-Brown.
She’s talking about an Austin man who has continued to drive while facing DWI charges.
According to the Department of Public Safety, John Cherico’s most recent arrest came Wednesday after he left the Bout Time Club in North Austin.
“You will see some people go through the criminal justice system that cannot seem to understand that they cannot get behind the wheel of a car,” Dawson-Brown said. She says that obviously, Cherico hasn’t been able to understand that.
According to court documents, Cherico has been arrested at least seven times on charges of driving while intoxicated. Of those arrests, he has been convicted at least five times on both misdemeanor and felony charges. I
n addition to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, the District Attorney’s office says he has also been arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated.
“With his history, we felt that he was sufficient enough threat to the community,” said Dawson-Brown. That’s why Thursday, 390th District Court Judge Julie Kocurek raised Cherico’s bond amount to $250,000 for the April 8th arrest, as well as a DWI arrest that occurred on March 25th. Court documents show that Cherico was found in the drive-through lane at a north Austin Jack in the Box restaurant passed out. His car was found in park.
Under Texas law, a person’s driver’s license is revoked after a DWI conviction. Although the Department of Public Safety could not say that Cherico’s license was suspended, Dawson-Brown says the law would indicate he was driving without a license.
“Driving [with a] license suspended is a misdemeanor offense, and that would be the least of his worries at this time,” said Dawson-Brown.
The District Attorney’s office says that Cherico has spent time behind bars for driving while intoxicated on two separate occasions. That means that now Cherico could become what the legal system refers to as a “habitual criminal.” Prosecutors could push for a hefty sentence that would put Cherico away for a longer sentence.
Dawson-Brown says she does not believe that anyone was hurt as a result of Cherico’s actions, according to previous paperwork filed on the repeat DWI offender.