The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Nexstar weatherman arrested for DUI after crashing Lexus in Texas

Jim Spencer of KXAN was detained by police in Austin after the crash; a police report said his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

Jim Spencer of KXAN was detained by police in Austin after the crash; a police report said his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

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 long-time weather forecaster for Nexstar Media Group’s Austin television station was arrested by police earlier this week for driving while under the influence.

Jimmy Spencer, 59, was booked into the Travis County Jail early Monday morning on a single misdemeanor criminal count of driving while intoxicated after he crashed his car the night before.

Around 10 p.m., officers were dispatched to the southbound lanes of the MoPac Expressway after receiving a report that someone collided with a barricade.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Spencer standing outside his gray Lexus sedan, according to a police report obtained by The Desk. Spencer reportedly told an officer that another vehicle made an aggressive merge, which forced him off the road.

Officers performed a field sobriety test on Spencer after locating alcohol in the vehicle, the police report said. He failed the “walk and turn” test and couldn’t stand on one leg without swaying, according to the report.

“Spencer had a wet liquid spilled in his car that emitted an odor of an alcoholic beverage,” a police officer wrote in the report. “Spencer also had three unopened Michelob Ultra 12-ounce bottles…[and] unopened White Claw seltzer 12-ounce cans.”

A police report said KXAN forecaster Jimmy Stewart had alcohol in his car at the time of the crash. (Obtained by The Desk)
A police report said KXAN forecaster Jimmy Spencer had alcohol in his car at the time of the crash. (Obtained by The Desk)

When confronted with the apparent evidence, Spencer allegedly told officers that he had just two beers “several hours ago.” Police then offered Spencer a portable breath test. His blood alcohol level came back at .218 — about three times the legal limit in Texas.

Spencer was booked into the Travis County Jail early Monday morning, and was released on $3,000 bond. His initial court appearance is scheduled for early August. His arrest was first reported by the industry blog FTV Live.

Spencer is well-known in the Austin area, having served as a weather forecaster for Nexstar’s NBC affiliate KXAN (Channel 36) for three decades. He announced his partial retirement from the station in 2021, and continues to make occasional on-air appearances.

Officials at KXAN and Nexstar have not spoken publicly about his arrest.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Spencer submitted to a portable breath test, not a breathalyzer test.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
Home » News » Industries » Television » Nexstar weatherman arrested for DUI after crashing Lexus in Texas