Tejano singer Emilio Navaira released from jail

HOUSTON The singer was allowed to delay his time in jail until this week because of his health. Navaira nearly died after he drove drunk and crashed his tour bus into a concrete barrier along the West Loop in March 2008.

Navaira suffered significant brain trauma when he rammed the bus into freeway barrels, throwing him through the windshield. A missing part of his skull had to be replaced with a metal plate, and doctors also had to repair an aneurysm in his right lung.

"Emilio improves every day," said attorney Paul Doyle. "His mind is almost 100 percent. Just like anybody with head injuries, when you come back, you may not be able to verbalize your thoughts perfectly. But in terms of his singing it gets better and better every day."

The plea deal for the misdemeanor DWI charge also required Navaira to serve 30 days of house arrest, pay a $4,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service through speeches at schools on the dangers of drinking and driving. He will do public service announcements and have his license suspended.

This was the third DWI charge for Navaira. Authorities say Navaira had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the legal limit for driving, when he wrecked his bus on a freeway in Bellaire during the early morning hours of March 23, 2008. Police said Navaira wasn't licensed to drive the 26,000-pound bus.

Navaira and his band will return to Houston for their first show since the accident on December 3. They are scheduled to perform at 7pm at Stereo Live located at 6400 Richmond Avenue.

In 1985 at age 23, Emilio began his professional singing career as lead vocalist for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales. After forming his own band Emilio was signed to Columbia Records (then known as CBS Records). Navaira has released more than a dozen albums with his band. He won a Grammy for best Tejano album in 2003 with "Acuerdate."

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