Country music fans in Virginia might soon have access to the drunk driving traffic stop video of Randy Travis. The legal efforts of the Grammy Award-winning singer to prevent the public release of video of his arrest in 2012 appear to be failing. The supreme court in the state where the traffic stop occurred denied the family's petition, and a federal judge has turned away a preliminary injunction request. The attorney for the Country Music Hall of Fame artist plans to appeal the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
The attorney said that releasing the embarrassing video would represent a violation of people's rights to privacy, especially for events that happened after a mental health breakdown or head injury. The video taken by law enforcement during the singer's traffic stop shows him naked and yelling threats at police officers. Since Travis suffered a stroke in 2013, his attorney said the singer can no longer speak, which robs him of the ability to explain himself if the video becomes public.
Open records requests to release the video prompted the Travis family to mount a legal challenge against the authorities in possession of the video. The only concession offered to Travis has been an agreement to edit the video segments that show Travis nude.
Regardless of the fame or background of a person, a drunk driving or DUI arrest triggers substantial legal problems for anyone. An attorney may help a person understand the criminal charges and then recommend a defense strategy. Depending on the strength of evidence, an attorney might get a case dropped or negotiate a plea bargain with a lenient sentence.