Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court denied without comment an appeal by country music legend Randy Travis attempting to prevent public release of his 2012 DWI arrest video. Mr. Travis had filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Attorney General seeking an order to prevent release of the arrest video. In 2016, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin had ruled that the video was a public record and had to be released. By denying Mr. Travis’s petition for review, the Supreme Court allowed the ruling of the Third Court of Appeals to stand.
It is worth noting that Mr. Travis filed a civil lawsuit against the Texas DPS and the Attorney General seeking to prevent release of the video. This was not part of the criminal case against Mr. Travis. And it is for that reason that the final say rested with the Texas Supreme Court and not the state’s highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals.
This is not a surprising result, as it is clear under Texas law that arrest videos are public records and it is equally clear that public records are subject to disclosure to news media and others. We suspect that Mr. Travis and his lawyers did not expect to be able to prevent release of the video but were instead hoping to drag out the process as long as possible so that when the video was finally released the news media and the internet would have moved on to other stories.
If you have been charged with DWI in Tarrant County (including Fort Worth, Arlington, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City and many other municipalities), you need a Tarrant County Criminal Defense Attorney with experience handling DWI cases. At Blake & Blake LLP, we are experienced Fort Worth DWI Attorneys who can help you achieve the best outcome in your case. Give us a call at 817-440-4444 or you can contract us via email at [email protected] or [email protected].