Palmview police arrest semi-retired state district judge on drunken driving charge

Palmview police arrested a retired state district judge Wednesday on drunken driving charges.

Officers arrested Roberto “Robert” Garza, 65, a semi-retired state district judge from Brownsville who still presides over cases as a visiting judge, on Wednesday morning.

Roberto Garza HCSO Booking PhotoGarza, who spent most of Wednesday in jail and caused a stir at the Hidalgo County Courthouse when he didn’t arrive in auxiliary court, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Police arrested Garza early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop.

Officer Brenda Alaniz attempted to stop a blue 2016 BMW X1 on Interstate 2 westbound near the Goodwin Road exit, according to Palmview Municipal Court records, which don’t specify when, exactly, the traffic stop occurred.

“Report states that the driver of the vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit ensued,” according to the criminal complaint.

When the BMW eventually stopped in Peñitas, police found Garza behind the wheel.

Garza couldn’t perform a standard field sobriety test “due to his level of intoxication,” according to the criminal complaint. Palmview dispatched Officer Gerardo Guerrero to assist, but Garza was still “unable to perform the tests.”

Officers transported Garza to the city jail, where he refused to provide a breath sample.

Garza is charged with evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, a state jail felony; unlawfully carrying a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor; and driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor.

Palmview transferred Garza to the Hidalgo County jail, where he was booked at 1:53 p.m. Wednesday. After he posted a bail bond, jailers released Garza at 8:20 p.m.

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