DWI Attorney Gets Drunk, Walks Into Wrong Courtroom

By Betty Wang, JD on August 06, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Here's a situation for you: a lawyer walks into a bar. Heard that one before, right? Okay, a lawyer drinks. Just another day that ends in 'y' right? How about this, a lawyer gets drunk. Okay, still, nothing out of the ordinary. Let's just bring it on home, now: a lawyer drinks, gets drunk, and then shows up to court while inebriated. Allegedly.

Was it mentioned that he not only showed up to court drunk, but it was the wrong courtroom? And, let's not forget the ultimate clincher -- he's a DWI attorney.

(Speaking of other lawyers who drink, though, at least he didn't trash any property like our favorite 'Hangover' lawyer).

Sixty-nine year old John Higgins was in her courtroom for 45 minutes before Judge Julie Altwies, who he was not even scheduled to appear before, ordered a probation officer to test Higgins' blood alcohol content. He then measured 0.11, which is over the legal limit of 0.08.

Higgins had also missed his two scheduled court appearances, which had to be continued by the judges instead.

Apparently, Higgins' had been convicted of an aggravated DWI back in 2009, and then accused of allegedly hitting his wife with his car a year later. The latter case was dismissed.

According to his attorney, Higgins' may be more than just your standard lawyer with a penchant to reach for the bottle (or in other words, a "high-functioning alcoholic"). Higgins has had alcohol issues in the past, and may still be suffering from them currently, as evidenced by his most recent disruption. He is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.

Despite the humor, and despite the drinking posts, we know that alcoholism amongst lawyers is a real and alarming issue -- according to some studies, lawyers struggle with substance abuse at almost twice the rate of any other profession. We hope that Higgins' seeks the help that he needs.

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