ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - DWI attorney John Higgins is no stranger to the other side of the law. Most recently he's accused of showing up drunk to work in a courtroom he wasn't even supposed to be in.
Metropolitan Court Judge Julie Altwies found Higgins in alleged direct contempt of court Wednesday morning.
In a hearing Thursday, Altwies told attorneys Higgins was in her courtroom for 45 minutes before she called in a probation officer to test his blood alcohol content.
His BAC measured .11; the presumed level of intoxication in New Mexico is .08.
Sixty-nine year old Higgins had no appearances before Altwies Wednesday, though he did have two scheduled with other judges.
"There were two cases that were continued by judges because he was not present," Altwies said in court Thursday. "The reason the court found him in direct contempt because he did disrupt the proceedings yesterday quite a lot."
This wasn't Higgins' first run-in with the law either.
One of Higgins' attorneys, Tom Clear, told News 13 he believes there may be something medically wrong with his client.
"He's had alcohol issues and I don't think he would deny that," Clear said. "It just wasn't consistent with the blood alcohol concentration of a .11. He was very unsteady on his feet and that remained after he returned to a .00, so I think there's something organically going on."
Clear said Higgins is receiving treatment at an Albuquerque hospital, and it's unclear when he'll be released.
Another hearing is scheduled for late August.
According to public records, Higgins has never been in trouble with the Disciplinary Board of New Mexico.
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