Jane McGarry, a longtime NBC 5 news anchor in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, has resigned after pleading no contest to driving while intoxicated after a May 2012 arrest. She has posted a statement on her Facebook page as well as additional statements in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, stating she was “deeply sorry for making such a terrible mistake.”
KXAS also expressed support of McGarry and her decision to resign, “We support Jane’s decision and truly thank her for her many contributions to NBC 5 throughout her long and distinguished career,” president-general manager Tom Ehlmann said. “We wish her the very best.”
McGarry also thanked the people of North Texas and said she has many wonderful memories and enjoyed her long tenure at her job. She noted that she appreciated the viewers, “inviting me into their homes for 30 wonderful years.”
This resignation followed an early morning DWI arrest when McGarry was arrested on the Dallas North Tollway in the early morning hours of May 6 when the police stopped her 2007 Porsche. McGarry refused the preliminary blood alcohol concentration test but later submitted to the mandatory blood alcohol content test at the police station. McGarry’s blood alcohol level was 0.11% at the time of the DWI arrest, which is above the legal limit of .08.
Police noted at the time of the DWI arrest that not only did McGarry fail to signal as she entered the Dallas North Tollway, she also had evidence of intoxication which was noted in the police report including, “bloodshot, droopy eyes and used a loud tone of voice.”
McGarry, who has been off the air since the incident this spring, has had a distinguished career up until this point winning several national media awards. Fans have been generally supportive of Jane with encouraging statements posted on a variety of social websites.
There have been critics of the station and some talk that McGarry’s “decision” to resign or pressure from the station may have more to do with her age and the fact that there is a double standard in the industry for men versus women and less to do with her DWI charge, since historically, as documented by a recent Dallas Morning News article, DWI has not always been a firing offense.
Some in the media have argued that a younger, female newscaster may not have been treated so harshly and may have been allowed to stay if they had committed the same offense. Others have argued that regardless of who is arrested for DWI this particular offense threatens the “public trust” and the violator should be forced to resign.
The Dallas Morning News article goes on to elaborate on a number of examples of other popular newscasters who have been arrested for DWI but who were allowed to stay and retain their prestigious positions.
All that seems to be clear for the moment is that McCarry has chosen to resign, without much further explanation, and there is not currently any clear, consistent position on drunk driving and the consequences for figures in the media.
Hiring a DUI lawyer
Good people make bad choices. If you have been arrested for DUI it is time to talk to a DUI lawyer. DUI laws and penalties are high in Texas and even first-time DWI offenders can face severe DUI penalties.