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J. V. RATLIFF v. STATE (12/18/57)

decided: December 18, 1957.

J. V. RATLIFF
v.
STATE



Driving While Intoxicated. Appeal from county court of Hockley County; penalty, fine of $50.00 and three days in jail. Hon. Paul A. Williams, Judge Presiding.

COUNSEL

Billy Hall, Littlefield, for appellant.

Leon Douglas, State's Attorney, Austin, for the state.

Davidson, Judge.

Author: Davidson

[ 165 Tex. Crim. Page 574]

    This is a conviction for driving while intoxicated; the punishment, a fine of $50 and three days in jail. It is not often that the facts touching appellant's guilt are so completely and thoroughly at issue as is here true.

About 10:30 o'clock at night, two highway patrolmen stopped the appellant when attracted by the manner in which he was driving his truck across the center stripe of and weaving on the highway. They each testified that appellant was highly intoxicated at the time, which opinion was based -- among other things -- upon the smell of liquor on his breath and his staggering and reeling while walking. The jailer to whom appellant was delivered after arrest expressed the same opinion.

According to the state's testimony, appellant was staggering drunk.

Appellant's wife, who was in the truck at the time testified that appellant was not intoxicated; that she had been with him all day and knew that he had not drunk any intoxicating liquor; that earlier in the night they had gone to the home of Bullard for a visit and were returning home from that visit when arrested.

The appellant denied that he was intoxicated and that he had taken intoxicants at any time that day. His testimony followed that of his wife.

Members of the Bullard family testified that appellant was not intoxicated when he left their house.

The jury accepted the testimony of the state's witnesses and assessed the minimum punishment for such offense.

Appellant insists that certain argument of state's counsel presents reversible error. The argument complained of violated no mandatory statute and it was claimed to be ...


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