Judge won’t block 2012 footage of Randy Travis’ naked DUI arrest near Dallas, set for release Friday

Judge won’t block 2012 footage of Randy Travis’ naked DUI arrest near Dallas, set for release Friday

Denton Record-Chronicle
(Grayson County Sheriff’s Office)

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks denied the country singer’s request for an injunction on Thursday. The state of Texas plans to release the video, edited to exclude images of Travis’ naked body below the waist, on Friday.

Travis sued the Texas DPS and attorney general’s office in September; a state appeals court ruled last year that the footage should be released.

Marty Cirkiel, Travis’ attorney, said he planned to ask the judge to stay his order and will appeal the ruling.

"This case is about the rights of all Americans to have their most personal moments that happen to be videotaped, occurring after a concussion or a physical injury or a mental health breakdown, remain private where they should be," Cirkiel said.

Travis, 58, was arrested shortly before midnight on Aug. 7, 2012, following a one-vehicle crash just outside Tioga, about 60 miles north of Dallas.

A witness called 911, reporting that a naked man was lying in the street.

Travis, who state troopers said smelled strongly of alcohol, refused to take a breath test. A blood sample taken later shows his blood alcohol content was 0.15 percent — almost twice the legal limit to drive.

Barefoot and wearing provided clothes, Randy Travis exits the Grayson County jail with Sherman attorney Gary Corley, who lent Travis his hat.

After the arrest, various media outlets requested dash-cam footage of the incident. Greg Abbott, then Texas’ attorney general, said the video should be made public — but edited to exclude footage of Travis’ naked body below the waist.

Travis’ federal lawsuit said the singer got in his car drunk and naked because he was "discombobulated after an extensive concert touring schedule" and that he suffered a concussion in the crash that "significantly affected his mental faculties."

His lawyer argued that the video should be considered private under privacy regulations for health records.

But in denying the injunction, Sparks ruled that it was unlikely Travis’ lawsuit would succeed on its claims.

Travis was charged with retaliation after he reportedly threatened to shoot and kill the troopers responding to the wreck, but that charge was dropped in a plea deal.

Travis was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to report to an alcohol treatment facility.

Travis, who lives in the small town of Tioga, had a widely publicized series of run-ins with authorities the same year as the wreck.

In February 2012, he was charged with public intoxication while sitting in his car in a church parking lot in Sanger. He later apologized to his fans "for what resulted following an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl" and pleaded no contest to a lesser charge.

Earlier on the night of his DUI arrest, Travis — who was already naked at that point — walked into a convenience store in Pilot Point and tried to buy cigarettes.

Later that August, he was accused of assaulting the estranged husband of a woman he was dating in the parking lot of Plano’s Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Several days later, his truck was found abandoned on its side in a Frisco field, but his lawyer said he hadn’t been driving it.

In 2013, Travis suffered a stroke and had brain surgery. Since then, he has had limited ability to speak and has difficulty walking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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