Local county judge charged with DWI apologizes; blames “home remedy”

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen, who was charged with DWI Wednesday after taking what he described as a “home remedy” for his asthma apologized Thursday to his constituents and his family.

Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen offered a sometimes tearful apology Thursday after his DWI arrest the day before. (Photo by John Carroll)

“I'm so sorry, I can't believe I put my family through this, they don't deserve this,” he told KWTX during a sometimes tearful interview.

"I just feel horrible about this, and horrible when I see my mugshot,” he said.

Burkeen is free on $1,000 bond following his arrest just after 2 p.m. Wednesday in Mart.

A Mart officer noticed that the muffler and exhaust of Burkeen’s White Chevrolet Impala was dragging on the road in the 400 block of West Texas Avenue, an affidavit says.

The officer tried to pull the car over, but the driver turned down two different streets before he finally stopped and got out of the car, the affidavit says.

The officer said the man’s speech was slurred and that he provided the incorrect date when asked what day it was, the affidavit said.

"I don't really know how I got to Mart to be honest,” Burkeen said Thursday.

After failing a field sobriety test, Burkeen was arrested on suspicion of DWI.

He was taken to the McLennan County Jail where blood was drawn for testing because a certified Breathalyzer operator was not available.

About two hours later, he consented to a breath test, which showed his blood alcohol level was 0.112, almost 1.5 times the legal limit.

"I've had asthma all my life but never like it's been the last few weeks and I was thinking about my dad and thinking about this old home remedy where they mix whiskey and honey and lemon. I think my dad would make me drink it and I hated it, it was just an act of desperation, I was tired of struggling for breath."

Burkeen said he doesn’t normally drink alcohol and said he’s never been arrested before.

He says he's most bothered about how this has affected his wife and children.

“My wife is incredible I'm just so sorry for what I put them through they didn't deserve this,” he said.

The offense is a class B misdemeanor, which means Burkeen won’t be required to step down.

‘"I plan to continue doing my job to the best of my ability. I think I'm able to. I don't make any excuses,” he said.

"I hope the people in Limestone county will forgive me...I have a lot of support from friends and family, but I know there will those out there who be angry at me."