Travis County Attorney David Escamilla said Monday he will not pursue a drunken driving case against a district judge arrested in March and will reduce her charges to a class C speeding misdemeanor ticket after test results show she was below the legal limit for intoxication.
Austin police arrested Judge Gisela Triana on March 20 near Barton Springs Road and Mopac Boulevard (Loop 1). An affidavit said she told the arresting officer that she had consumed four drinks that night, including two during a taping of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at the Long Center.
Triana, a civil judge in Travis County since 2005, had two more drinks at Zax Restaurant & Bar, according to the affidavit. The document said Triana had an empty bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade in the center console of her Chevy Suburban.
On Monday, Escamilla said Triana had a blood alcohol level of 0.076, just below the legal level of 0.08.
Read more and watch the dash cam video at The Austin American-Statesman
This story from Texas is an illustration of the fact that bad things can happen to the best of us. It also shows that being charged with DUI/DWI does not make it a foregone conclusion that the offense was in fact committed or that the person charged will end up with a DUI/DWI conviction. Fortunately for Judge Triana, her BAC was below 0.08%, making hers an easy case for the prosecution to dismiss. Others are not as easy. But if you don’t bother trying, you could end up with a punishment you do not deserve. If you find yourself in a similar situtation, give me a call at 701.223.2000.