A DWI story that could derail a presidential campaign

A DWI case involving Travis County (Texas) District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has ballooned into an indictment of outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry that many analysts believe is politically motivated and designed to derail his ambitions to run for president in 2016.

The facts of the Lehmberg case are not in dispute, according to the Washington Post. In April, 2013 she was arrested on a DWI, with an open container of vodka in the car and a blood/alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit in Texas. Moreover, she was uncooperative and combative when she was brought into the local police station after her arrest. She was sentenced to 45 days in jail and required to pay a $4000 fine.

The reason the case has become one of those more interesting DWI stories derives from the fact that Gov. Perry demanded that Lehmberg resign from her position and that she refused to do so. Perry duly used his line item veto power to zero out funding for a public integrity unit that Lehmberg headed as a way to pressure her to step down.

Despite the fact that there is no precedence for prosecuting a sitting Texas governor for exercising his power to veto, CNN reported that a grand jury has indicted Perry on the charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry and his legal team are motioning to have the charges be thrown out on constitutional and procedural grounds. In the meantime Perry, whose term of office expires in January, is visiting early primary states to prepare for a second run for the presidency. Even if he is successful in having the charges dismissed, the case is an unwelcome distraction.

What do you think about this case?  Should District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg have resigned for her DWI arrest?  Did Governor Perry over step his authority with his line item veto of her unit’s funding?  Let us know your opinion in the comments.

As you can see from the unfolding legal battle detailed above, DWI arrests have far reaching consequences.  If you find yourself arrested for DWI in the Charlotte area, contact us for a free case evaluation.


Image credit: Wikipedia