Dashcam footage of State Senator Charles Schwertner’s arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in February has recently been made public. The video, which was released by the Austin Police Department (APD), shows the senator being pulled over near Avenue B and West 45th Street in Austin, Texas. APD officers initiated the traffic stop after observing Schwertner’s SUV swerving out of its lane. During the encounter, officers reported that Schwertner displayed signs of alcohol impairment, despite his claims of sobriety.
The dashcam video reveals that Schwertner underwent a field sobriety test before being taken into custody. Additionally, court documents state that the senator refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and exhibited slurred speech. Following the arrest, Schwertner was charged with DWI and booked into the Travis County Jail.
However, the charges against Schwertner were later dismissed by the Travis County Attorney’s Office in July after carefully reviewing the evidence. This decision prompted scrutiny and raised questions about the handling of the case. Schwertner’s DWI arrest is not his first involvement in a scandal. In 2018, he faced allegations of sending explicit photos of his genitals to a University of Texas graduate student.
Although Schwertner denied the accusations, an investigation by the University of Texas found him uncooperative. While the university could not definitively prove that Schwertner sent the explicit messages, they did not clear him of any wrongdoing. As a result of the sexual harassment allegation, Schwertner voluntarily stepped down from his position as the Chairman of the Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.
Despite the controversies surrounding him, Schwertner remains an influential figure in Texas politics. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Constitutional Issues. Additionally, he holds membership in various other Senate committees, including Education, Finance, and State Affairs, among others. In May, Schwertner assumed the role of President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate, succeeding Kelly Hancock.
The release of the dashcam video has sparked significant public interest and further intensified discussions around Schwertner’s behavior and the measures taken by the Travis County Attorney’s Office. As the case continues to unfold, many will be closely monitoring Schwertner’s actions and the potential impact on his political career.