Another Texas Democrat lawmaker has been arrested for drunk driving.

State Rep. René Oliveira (D–Brownsville) was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, causing an accident, and leaving the scene.

On April 27 at 10:22 p.m., Brownsville police responded to an accident where they found a Cadillac leaving the premises, a parked silver Lexus, and a Chevrolet. The woman in the Lexus, later identified as Mrs. Oliveira, informed authorities “that everything was fine and there was no accident.”

The woman sitting in her Chevrolet said she was rear-ended by the Cadillac while at a traffic light, and the man driving the Cadillac gave her his business card “and told her that he would take care of everything,” according to a police statement.

The officer then showed the woman a Facebook photo of Oliveira, and she confirmed he was the driver of the Cadillac. 

Officers then located the Cadillac, with damage to the front end and two flat tires, in Oliveira’s driveway, along with the silver Lexus. After they made contact with Mr. and Mrs. Oliveira, police arrested Mr. Oliveira for causing an accident while driving intoxicated.

He was served with a warrant to retrieve blood and was arrested on suspicion of DWI, a Class B misdemeanor. He was released on a $2,500 bond on Saturday. It is believed he will also be facing hit-and-run charges.

The representative released a statement to a local newspaper, the Brownsville Herald, apologizing for his actions.

“Last night I made a mistake in judgement, and thankfully, no one was injured. I sincerely apologize to my family, friends, colleagues, and most especially to my supporters,” he wrote. Oliveira added that “we are all only human.”

Oliveira said he doesn’t expect special treatment.

Oliveira is the dean of the Rio Grande Valley legislative delegation. First elected in 1981, he is now ranked fifth in overall seniority in the Texas House and chairs the House Committee on Business and Industry.

He is currently fighting for his seat in a Democratic primary runoff election for Texas House District 37 against Cameron County Commissioner Alex Dominguez.

Democrat State Rep. Victoria Neave of Dallas was arrested for driving drunk and charged with DWI last June. Neave, who represents House District 107, will face the winner of the Republican primary runoff between Deanna Metzger and Joe Ruzicka.

Early voting for Texas House District 37 runs May 14–18. Election Day is May 22.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.

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