A Sweeny man has been arrested and charged with DWI after he was found asleep or passed out in the parking lot of a local gentleman's club early Saturday morning. Because this is his third DWI charge, he could spend up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

According to a police report filed in connection with the incident, a security guard at Silk Stocking Lounge found the 39-year-old man asleep or unconscious behind the wheel of a vehicle in the club's parking lot late Friday night.

The security guard went inside to call police. While the security guard was making the call, it seems the man awoke and tried to drive away, but got stock in some mud and was unable to leave.

When officers arrived around 2 a.m. Saturday, they gave the man field sobriety tests, which he failed, they said.

The man was convicted of DWI in 1993 in Angleton County and in 1999 in Matagorda County, so this most recent charge against him is a felony, rather than a misdemeanor. Besides the possibility of spending a decade behind bars that we mentioned previously, he could also be ordered to pay as much as $10,000 in fines if he is convicted.

We believe that people ought to atone for wrongs they have committed, but the thought that this man could now lose his freedom for 10 years based on field sobriety tests, which are notoriously subjective, concerns us. It is possible that police have more evidence here than they have let on, but what we know about this situation makes it seem as though a lot is riding on the personal opinions and observations of the arresting officers, and that is not fair to the accused man.

Source: The Bryan-College Station Eagle, "Man charged with DWI after falling asleep in vehicle," March 10, 2013