Former TX House speaker Lewis facing DWI charge

June 26, 2009 1:06:29 PM PDT
Former Texas House speaker Gib Lewis is facing a drunken driving charge after he was pulled over in Austin's downtown entertainment district with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. Police pulled over the 72-year-old Lewis after he drove straight through a turn-only lane Thursday night.

Sgt. Richard Stresing said the arresting officers' report noted Lewis was "swaying, staggering, stumbling" with slurred speech and red, bloodshot eyes. He also had an alcoholic beverage in a plastic cup in his car.

The arrest report said Lewis was cooperative but failed a field sobriety test. He was arrested and taken to jail where he submitted a breath sample, which showed a blood alcohol level of .16. The legal limit is .08.

Lewis, a Democrat, was speaker of the House from 1983-1993. He is now a lobbyist.

A telephone message left at his office was not immediately returned. The Austin American-Statesman reported Friday that when reached by phone, Lewis said, "There's nothing to say but don't drink and drive."

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