In April 2013, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested after a witness called 911, describing her as driving erratically, swerving back and forth into the bike lane, and into oncoming traffic. Officers at the scene reportedly found an open bottle of vodka in her car, and a blood sample obtained later that evening purportedly showed a blood alcohol level of 0.239—almost three times the legal limit—even that many hours later.
While serving a 45-day sentence in the Travis County Jail, Lehmberg wrote a letter filled with contrition that almost makes you feel sorry for her. Almost, but not quite. I’ll skip the bullshit parts and move straight to the part that is the most revealing.
There are three things I want you to know.
First and foremost, I take the offense of driving while intoxicated seriously. There are hundreds of reasons that lead up to a single event in our lives but no excuse for driving while intoxicated.
Secondly, upon my release, I will continue to seek professional help and guidance. I know that I need help understanding and treating the cause of this behavior. For that reason, I am making arrangements for further professional assessments and pledge to follow all recommended treatment as soon as I have served my jail term. [Emphasis mine]
And, third, I must deal with the civil issues facing me. Some of that situation is out of my hands. But I can assure you I will address the issues in a forthright and honest manner.
From January 2012 until the time of her arrest (April 2013) little Rosie made 59 purchases of alcohol at various Twin Liquors stores, a rate of nearly one purchase a week.
She bought 76 bottles of alcohol. According to the receipts, Lehmberg prefers Ciroc vodka. She routinely purchased 1.75 liter bottles of vodka, at a price of nearly $60 each. On occasion, she bought more than one 1.75 liter bottle of Ciroc at a time.
Those 76 bottles add up to 24.7 gallons of alcohol purchased over 15 months. The last purchase in the KEYE-compiled list was on April 2, 2013—10 days before her arrest for drunk driving, and the subsequent attempt to abuse her power by trying to intimidate the officers who processed her in jail. Lehmberg purchased vodka on that day. An open bottle of vodka was found in her car during her arrest.
After serving her jail sentence, the drunkard DA returned to her office and refused to step down. Gov. Perry announced that he would veto a bill that funded the Public Integrity Unit, a division over which Lehmberg was supervisor, unless she stepped down because he felt that she had lost the public’s trust. Later he followed through and did veto the bill.
On Friday a grand jury indicted Perry on two charges related to his effort last year to force Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest charging him with abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony. The first charge carries a punishment of 5-99 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The second charge is punishable by 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas law clearly grants the governor the power to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit and many other agencies, but Democrats supporting Lehmberg ain’t havin’ none of that. Can you say lawfare?
The Travis County District Attorney’s office has a long history of politically-motivated prosecutions, including the 2005 indictment of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for alleged campaign finance violations. DeLay’s convictions were completely overturned and he was acquitted after an appeal to the Third District Texas Court of Appeals in 2013—too late to save his political career.
While things are a bit dicey for Perry, a shitstorm of legal troubles continue for the town drunk. According to the Texas Lawyer website an ethics complaint was filed against her last week, accusing her of failing to properly report on her campaign finance reports the source of the more than $227,000 in attorney fees she paid to her defense counsel.
I’ll conclude this post with Ace’s hilarious Top Five True Medical Facts About a 0.238 Blood Alcohol Content:
5. In medical terminology, 0.238 BAC is midway between "Fraternity Hazing Drunk" and "Drinking to Forget It All Drunk"
4. At 0.238 BAC, you are not charged with Driving Under the Influence; you are charged with Sleeping In Motion
3. If you stacked up all the shot glasses needed to get you to a 0.238 BAC, they would reach all the way from the floor to one inch above the floor, because they all fell down already, because you're fucking drunk and really shouldn't be stacking things made of glass
2. If you attempt to evade arrest with a 0.238 BAC, and you succeed for at least 20 minutes, the cops give you a Fucking Medal right there on the spot
1. At 0.238 Blood Alcohol Content, the human body begins spontaneously generating olives.
By the way, this is all being completely misinterpreted. Governor Perry's veto threat was an attempt at an Intervention. It was cosponsored by Dr. Drew Pinsky.