Man says consequences of DWI changed his life

El Paso man believes DWI laws need to be more strict

EL PASO, Texas - Antonio Escalante's trouble with the law prompted ABC-7 to ask if there should be stiffer laws for repeat DWI offenders. One man who's been through the courts believes so.

After being arrested three times for driving while intoxicated, the most recent time four years ago, Mike Francis decided to stop drinking.

"When my wife picked me up from the jail. I promised her I wouldn't drink again. That was a hard task. I had to seek help," Francis said.
He chose a sober life after realizing going through the courts hurt more than just his wallet.

"It's a life changing experience for family, for anybody that cares about you," Francis said.

County Criminal Judge Robert Anchondo with the El Paso DWI Drug Court helped start the Intervention and Treatment Program 10 years ago. He said laws are stricter now, and remembers when offenders used to only be given a traffic ticket for DWI.

"The system works, because everybody that's stopped has their rights. It's unfortunate lives have been lost. I also think of those victims and their families," Judge Anchondo said.

Both Judge Anchondo and Francis said programs can help people turn their lives around.

"Sharing my story kinda helps me, and volunteering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, helps me stay sober. Helps me not drink anymore," Francis said.

 However, they also both agree that a person needs to want and be willing to change.

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