I have met some individuals who have applied in December last year who still got it for August 2005. But the earlier, the safer you will be in getting in. As long as you do well on your DAT and have a good GPA, I dont think applying in august will set you behind. Good Luck.
I think it depends on your score to some degree. If your score is really good, you can get away with applying later in the cycle. If it's average, then the sooner the better. Middle of Auguest with average to good scores should be fine.
It all depends on your stats and what schools you want to apply to. I would apply no later than August. Remember you can apply without have your dat scores. It takes aasdass at least a week if not more to process your application, so just apply now and send your scores later