One night in McAllen, Texas, a police officer stopped a silver Lexus driving nearly 70 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. When he asked for the driver’s license and registration, she handed him her badge and told him she’s a judge. Unfortunately for Judge Nora Longoria of the 13th District Court of Appeals, she had encountered an honest cop.
To make matters worse, the officer thought her voice sounded slurred and that she smelled like alcohol and asked her to step out of the car. Sure enough, Longoria failed the sobriety test, got slapped with a DWI charge, and taken to jail. Police then released her after she posted a $2,000 bond.
The Valley Star reports Longoria seemed agitated during the traffic stop, resisted being handcuffed, and begged:
“Please let me go home. I live a couple of miles away … you are going to ruin my life. I worked hard for 25 years to be where I am today.”
The court documents also show that Longoria claims she had gone out for dinner with friends and drank five beers, but had her last one three hours before getting behind the wheel.
Longoria’s response seems fairly standard for these circumstances. Unfortunately, the incident — and her pleas for special treatment — have drawn unwelcome attention because applying the law “fairly and without bias” was a central part of her 2012 campaign for the seat. According to her web site:
I am committed to the legal profession and to the integrity and sanctity of the judicial system. My promise is to always apply the law fairly and without bias in all cases.
To make matters worse, The Monitor adds that when reporters requested the mug shots, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office dragged their feet on releasing them, citing new policy changes that make it harder for the press to get information in a timely fashion. This ensured that when Longoria’s DWI arrestfirst made the news, the story ran with more flattering photographs.
How many lives has Judge Longoria “ruined?”
Judge Longoria — along with four other judges and a chief Justice — handles civil and criminal appeals for a 20-county area. Which makes us wonder: How many people’s lives has this Texas judge “ruined” by upholding their DWI convictions?
Watch this report and reenactment from Tomo News:
Photo: Screen grab Tomo News.