Police: Retired judge too drunk to perform field sobriety tests before arrest

A retired Cameron County district court judge was too intoxicated to perform field sobriety tests after police pulled him over, according to the probable cause affidavit released by the city Thursday.

Roberto “Robert” Garza, 65, was arrested Wednesday morning on driving while intoxicated and unlawful carrying of a weapon misdemeanor charges in addition to a state jail felony charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle. He was released from county jail Wednesday evening on a $25,000 cash bond.

Before being taken into custody, Garza “refused to stop and a pursuit ensued” after a Palmview police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2016 BMW X1 on Interstate 2 westbound near Goodwin Road, according to the affidavit. The driver eventually stopped in neighboring Peňitas, on westbound Expressway 83 and Loop 374.

The affidavit does not list the time of the arrest, but Palmview police said it occurred at approximately 1 a.m.

The officer noticed Garza display “several symptoms of intoxication,” and he was “asked several times to step out of the vehicle.” He then failed to perform two rounds of field sobriety tests “due to his level of intoxication.”

The officers also found handgun in the BMW’s glove compartment.

He was taken to city jail, where he refused to provide a breath sample.

Garza serves as a visiting judge for the 5th Administrative Judicial Region, which oversees the Rio Grande Valley. He frequently presides over cases in Hidalgo County, and was scheduled to handle the auxiliary court docket Wednesday morning, which included a driving while intoxicated (third or more) case, according to court records.