Texas Court Rules Randy Travis’ 2012 DWI Arrest Footage Must Be Made Public
On Aug. 7, 2012, Randy Travis was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Just over four years later, a Texas state appeals court has ruled that the police dashcam footage from the incident must be made public.
A number of media outlets have made Public Information Act requests for the footage. In May of 2013, Travis requested that all information pertaining to his arrest -- including the dashcam video, which would be redacted to cut out images of Travis, who was naked at the time of his arrest, below the waist -- be kept private, arguing that he "was exhausted, intoxicated, sleep-deprived, medicated and suffering from a post-collision concussion; therefore, his actions at the time of the dashboard recording could not have been voluntarily or knowing" (quote via appeals court documents). However, on Thursday (Aug. 18), a three-judge panel of the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, ordered that the video be released.
Marty Cirkiel, Travis' lawyer, tells Austin's American-Statesman that he will appeal the decision, to the full appeals court and, if necessary, to the Texas Supreme Court.
“I don’t think the public has a right to see individuals in the course of a mental health breakdown any more than they have right to see someone in course of an operation on their heart, kidney or brain,” Cirkiel says. “To intrude upon a person who’s discombobulated due to a mental health issue or a concussion, I don’t think the public interest stretches that far.”
Travis was arrested around midnight on Aug. 7, 2012, following a one-vehicle crash near Tioga, Texas. In addition to being charged with DWI, he was charged with obstruction and retaliation, after allegedly threatening an officer. In January of 2013, Travis pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and received two years probation, a $2,000 fine and a 180-day suspended jail sentence; the obstruction and retaliation charges were dropped.
This incident was one of a number that preceded Travis' life-threatening stroke in 2013. The singer continues to make progress in his recovery; his wife, Mary Davis, calls his progress a series of “giant baby steps.”
Randy Travis Through the Years
5 Lessons We've Learned From Randy Travis