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Nexstar weatherman hires attorney after DUI arrest

Jim Spencer was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol after a car crash earlier this month.

Jim Spencer was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol after a car crash earlier this month.

The mugshot of KXAN forecaster Jim Spencer. (Photo courtesy Travis County Sheriff's Office)
The mugshot of KXAN forecaster Jim Spencer. (Photo courtesy Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

A semi-retired Texas weatherman has hired a criminal defense attorney after he was arrested following a DUI-related car crash earlier this month.

Court records reviewed by The Desk show KXAN (Channel 36) forecaster Jimmy Spencer, 59, has retained Sandra Castro Ritz, an attorney based in Austin, to represent him in the misdemeanor criminal case.

Spencer was arrested last week after he crashed his late-model Lexus sedan along the southbound lanes of the MoPac Expressway.

Related: Nexstar weatherman arrested after crashing Lexus in Texas

A police officer on the scene reported Spencer had several unopened bottles of alcohol in his car, and that he failed a field sobriety test. A portable breath test was administered at the scene, and Spencer’s blood alcohol content (BAC) came back at .218, about three times the legal limit, according to a law enforcement report reviewed by The Desk.

Spencer has not commented publicly about the matter, nor has KXAN or the station’s owner, Nexstar Media Group. He semi-retired from the NBC affiliate two years ago, but continues making occasional on-air appearances.

At the time of his arrest, Spencer was in the middle of a weeks-long campaign called the Summer Fan Drive. The charity initiative called for KXAN viewers to donate fans or cash in memory of Kaxan, the station’s mascot who died earlier this year from brain cancer.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Spencer submitted to a portable breath test at the scene, which is different from a breathalyzer test.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).