A Texas judge who regularly presides over drinking and driving cases was arrested on drunk driving charges this past weekend.
Judge John Lipscombe, who has presided over the Travis County Court at Law No. 3 since January 2011, was arrested early Saturday, May 7, on a charge of driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor. Lipscombe was released shortly after being booked.
Documents obtained by Fox 7 from the Austin Police Department said deputies were called to the parking lot of Homewood Suites by Hilton in North Austin around 12:28 a.m.
The caller, a witness on the scene, told police he had to stop the Texas judge from backing into a parking space already occupied by another vehicle.
Judge Lipscombe reportedly got into a verbal argument with the witness who stopped him from hitting the other car, then drove around the hotel and parked in a spot reserved for disabled people near the building’s entrance.
When police arrived, they found Lipscombe in the hotel lobby, and he was “slow to answer questions and was overall disoriented,” according to documents. Lipscombe reportedly told police he “had a couple of drinks at his house but not even to get messy,” including two double shots of rum and coke.
He allegedly stated he could not remember when he began or stopped drinking that night.
Police asked Lipscombe to take a field sobriety exam which he refused, saying he had an injured right ankle.
Lipscombe most recently won re-election to the Travis County Court at Law in 2018. His current term ends on December 31.
His court oversees Class A and Class B misdemeanors, which include DWIs. According to public records, more than two dozen defendants facing drunk driving charges were on Lipscombe’s court docket for Tuesday.
A Travis County spokesperson told Latin Times that a visiting judge was appointed to Lipscombe’s court on Saturday to take over his cases.
Lipscombe has yet to comment on his arrest.