Weeks after drunk driving charges were dropped against a South Texas Court of Appeals judge, a County District Attorney is claiming his office failed to receive recently surfaced footage of her field sobriety test, which police say may have led to her successful prosecution.
“McAllen police have released dashcam video from 13th Court Justice of Appeals Nora Longoria’s traffic stop that led to her DWI arrest,” reports Action 4 News.
Last July, Longoria was pulled over driving home after an officer clocked her speeding 69 MPH in a 55-MPH zone.
The newly-surfaced video of her arrest appears to show a drunken Judge Longoria stumbling multiple times. She also appears unable to raise her hands or walk in a straight line as the officer conducting the test requests.
At the time of the event, the arresting officer reportedly noted Longoria smelled of alcohol and was slurring her speech. She additionally failed a breathalizer test, but refused to provide a blood sample, according to Action 4 News.
Longoria also allegedly begged the arresting officer not to book her, saying, “Please let me go home. I live a couple of miles away,” and, “You are going to ruin my life. I worked hard for 25 years to be where I am today.”
Next, Longoria reportedly admitted to driving drunk. Following the arrest, the Valley Morning Star noted that “Once another police officer and a sergeant arrived at the scene, Longoria said she had been having dinner with friends and drank five beers with the last drink being three hours before she got behind the wheel, records show.”
The Star reports that the judge also “refused to let the officers place the handcuffs on her and told the officers that they would have to drag her to the patrol car. The police officers and the sergeant told the judge that if she kept refusing their orders they would charge her with resisting arrest.” Longoria posted bond the next morning and was released the same day, pending B misdemeanor charges.
On November 20, Hidalgo County Court at Law No. 8 Judge Rolando Cantu dismissed the DWI charges against Longoria, marking the case ‘Other; In the Interest of Justice,’” according to The Monitor.
At the time, Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra claimed there was insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute Longoria. He also claimed to Action 4 News that the damning footage was never shown to his office.
Rather, Guerra “saw video recorded at the police station, which showed a more put together Longoria With that video alone, the case wasn’t strong enough to take to court,” reports the New York Daily News (above).
The democrat judge’s case is reminiscent of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s April 2013 arrest. Lehmberg was filmed by police behaving belligerently, issuing threats to officers and lashing out in fits of rage. Her blood alcohol level was three times the allowable state limit. Unlike Longoria, however, Lehmberg spent 45 days in jail and had her license suspended for 180 days.
The failure to prosecute Judge Longoria is indicative of a double standard which holds public servants above the law. Unlike the judge, everyday citizens caught speeding while driving drunk would likely have the book thrown at them.
No word yet on whether the DA Guerra will attempt to re-open the case in light of the new video evidence.