Judge Arrested for Washington DUI in Thurston County

A Tumwater Washington municipal judge is under investigation for drunk driving following two separate accidents on September 28. Judge John Lyman is accused of striking a car with his SUV in a parking lot and leaving the scene. He then hit another vehicle and again drove off. The second victim phoned 911 and followed the SUV as the judge drove home.

A Washington State Patrol trooper arrested the judge about two hours after the incidents. While being booked at the Olympia Police Department on suspicion of driving under the influence in Washington, Lyman registered a blood alcohol content of 0.135% and 0.140% on two breath tests. The legal limit for intoxication in the state is 0.08%.

The trooper did not place Lyman in jail because the judge had been cooperative during interviews at his home.

Tumwater police are investigating the two accidents, and will be forwarding the results to the Thurston County prosecutor’s office. The State Patrol is conducting a separate Washington DUI investigation. A special prosecutor from Mason County was named to the case to avoid a conflict of interest.

Lyman has agreed not to hear cases while the investigations are being conducted, though he is not on leave and is still being paid. A pro tem judge has been assigned to oversee the Tumwater municipal court cases.

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  1. April 6, 2013 10:06 pm
    I was driving home on Yelm hwy and seen a vehicle over a bank with the lights on and the driver trying to get his rig unstuck. I went down the bank and observed a man coming out of the drivers side of a 2000 GMC Yukon and was stumbling around. I recognized him as John Lyman former judge of Tumwater. He also confirmed who he was. I helped him up the bank as I was on the phone with 911. Mr. Lyman was not injured by the accident be he did stagger a lot and had trouble talking and walking. It was easy to tell he had been drinking. There appeared to be several hundred dollars in damage to a chain link fence and a drainage system.
    Lacey Fire Department and Thurston County Sheriff arrived on the scene and examined Mr. Lyman.
    I could not find any record of Mr. Lyman in any local jails but I was called later by TCSO asking questions about the accident.
    Mr. Lyman is still on probation for DUI and two counts of hit and run.