Former Progreso ISD trustee pleads guilty to drunken driving

A former Progreso school board trustee pleaded guilty last week to driving while intoxicated.

Felix Hernandez Jr., 36, of Progreso pleaded guilty April 18 to driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor.

20190424 Felix HernandezHCSO BookingPhotovia OdysseyHidalgo County Court-at-Law Judge Arnoldo Cantu sentenced Hernandez to 365 days in jail and fined him $1,000. Cantu, however, suspended the jail sentence and placed Hernandez on community supervision for two years.

The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested Hernandez at 2:38 a.m. on Sept. 24, when a state trooper stopped him for speeding on Expressway 83.

When he approached Hernandez, the state trooper observed signs of intoxication, according to court records. Hernandez refused to provide a breath sample, which prompted the state trooper to arrest him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

The drunken driving arrest posed a major problem for Hernandez.

In April 2014, agents with the Department of Public Safety had caught Hernandez driving a tractor-trailer loaded with about 1,250 pounds of marijuana, a second-degree felony punishable by 20 years in prison. He pleaded guilty.

State District Judge Linda Yanez sentenced Hernandez to five years in prison. Yanez, though, suspended the prison sentence and placed Hernandez on community supervision for five years.

The drunken driving arrest violated the terms of Hernandez’s community supervision — which included “avoid the use or abuse of any and all alcoholic beverages” — and threatened to send him to prison.

While state District Judge Marla Cuellar didn’t send Hernandez to prison in September, she demanded he comply with tough new conditions.

Hernandez must wear a GPS tracking device, carry a portable alcohol breath test device and refrain from driving, according to court records. He must also participate in an alternative to incarceration program.

A hearing in the drug trafficking case is scheduled for April 30.

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