Randy Travis, one of country musics most recognizable voices, pleaded guilty to drunk driving Thursday. The guilty plea will allow him to avoid jail time after his DWI (driving while intoxicated) arrest last summer in Texas.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Travis must serve a 180-day suspended jail sentence, pay a $2,000 fine and spend two years on probation. Additionally, according to the Associated Press, Travis will also have to spend at least 30 days in an alcohol treatment facility, install an ignition interlock device on his car and complete 100 hours of community service. The ignition interlock device will not allow his car to start if he is intoxicated.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="126"] Cover of Randy Travis[/caption]
The court noted that the condition of in-patient treatment, where Travis will be confined to the treatment facility and will not be able to leave for 30 days, is a more severe penalty than what is generally required for a first time DWI offender. His community service and probationary requirements are also more than double what are generally given. The prosecutors argued that it was a fair punishment, especially given how he treated the police officers at the time of his DWI arrest.
Randy Travis entered his DWI plea in court in Sherman, Texas, a town in North Texas. He had been charged with a misdemeanor DWI and could have faced up to one year in jail and a fine of $4,000. The country star also could have been charged with retaliation for allegedly threatening officers, but those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement. According to the Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown, the punishment was appropriate for the offense and "considerably more than is typically received for a first-time DWI."
When Travis was arrested he was described as naked and combative by the Grayson County Sheriffs office. He had been driving a 1998 TransAm at the time of the incident but was reportedly naked and lying in the street when the police arrived at the scene. At the time of the DWI arrest, when police attempted to subdue Travis, he threatened to kill them.
Travis also refused to submit to a sobriety test, but was forced to submit to a chemical test of his blood after his DWI arrest. Unfortunately, this most recent DWI arrest is not the first brush with the law for Travis who was arrested and charged with public intoxication in February of this year. In this earlier incident Travis was not driving his car but was parked outside of a church in the Texas town of Sanger, near his home after having a fight with his girlfriend.
Travis, born in 1959, has had 16 number one hits and has recorded 20 albums. He has spent the last few years focusing on gospel music and has also tried his hand at acting in movies and television. He was most successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s.