AUSTIN (KXAN) - Travis County deputies arrested District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, 63, on a charge of driving while intoxicated in western Travis County on Friday night.
According to the affidavit, a citizen called in Lehmberg's Lexus around 10:45 p.m., saying she was driving in the bike lane for at least a mile on southbound FM 620. She also was seen weaving in out of of traffic. Lehmberg finally came to a stop in front of St. Lukes Church in 5600 block of FM 620.
"I am truly sorry to have let the citizens of Travis County down," Lehmberg said in a statement issued this afternoon. "I deeply regret my actions and take full responsibility. As I continue to carry out my responsibilities as District Attorney. I hope that the community will forgive my mistake."
The affidavit describes Lehmberg's demeanor as both polite and excited, insulting and cocky. The smell of alcohol as moderate, ahd her eyes were bloodshot and watery. She also was described as disoriented with slurred speech. She lost her balance during the field sobriety test and started before the instructions to start.
Lehmberg said she had two vodka drinks earlier in the evening, as well as a prescribed medication. An open bottle of vodka was found on the passenger seat of the car.
Lehmberg was arrested by Travis County deputies. Bond was set at $3,000, and Lehmberg was released around 7:30 a.m. on her own recognizance. A first-time DWI charge is a Class B misdemeanor. A first-time DWI offense would be prosecuted by the county attorney, not Lehmberg's office.
County Attorney David Escamilla confirmed it would be his office's job to prosecute. The Travis County Attorney's office typically will receive the "prosecution packet" from the Travis County Sheriff's Office on Monday or Tuesday, after which TCAO staff enters the information into our Prosecutor Information Management System (PIMS) creating an electronic case file.
The case is then assigned to an attorney for review. If all the elements of the crime are met and all the evidence has been received, a complaint and information is drafted and the case is filed with the County Clerk's office and assigned to a County Court, Escamilla said.
In DWI cases, the review timeline varies from days to months depending upon whether all necessary evidence has been received. In blood test cases, for example, the sample is sent to to a testing lab for analysis and that process can take weeks or even months for return of the blood test result.
Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo released a statement mid-afternoon:
"I do not know the details surrounding the arrest of Ms. Lehmberg as the incident was not handled by the Austin Police Department. I am grateful that no one was injured or killed in this case. Rosemary is a close friend and colleague, however, my stance on DWI is very clear and I was saddened to learn of her arrest.
"Based on my personal knowledge of Ms. Lehmberg's character, I am confident she will handle this matter in an expeditious manner consistent with her many years of dignified service to the people of Travis County."
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