AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Texas senator from Georgetown was arrested by the Austin Police Department and charged with driving while intoxicated early Tuesday morning.
Online jail records show Charles Jeffrey Schwertner, 52, was booked into the Travis County Jail just after 2 a.m. Tuesday.
According to APD, officers conducted a traffic stop at about 12:46 a.m. at the intersection of Avenue B and West 45th Street. That’s near The Triangle in central Austin. During the interaction, officers arrested Schwertner, police said.
KXAN has reached out to his team for comment. We will update this story when we receive a response. He does not have an attorney listed online at this time.
Schwertner’s Texas Senate bio said the Republican has represented the Texas Senate District 5 since 2013. That district covers a 10-county region including Brazos, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Walker and Williamson counties.
Schwertner was set to chair the Business and Commerce committee on grid reform at the capitol on Tuesday.
In addition to being the chair of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, Schwertner also serves on the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on State Affairs. It’s unclear how Tuesday’s arrest will affect his committee assignments.
On Wednesday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick put out a statement about Schwertner’s arrest, condemning his actions. But Patrick said he will await any final outcomes in court before further commenting or taking any action.
“There is zero excuse for driving under the influence and putting lives in danger, in particular by a member of the legislature whose conduct should be held to a higher standard,” Patrick said in a press release.
In 2018, Schwertner was investigated after a University of Texas at Austin student said he sent her lewd text messages. He denied it, saying someone else had sent the messages, and the university didn’t find evidence to support he had violated Title IX. But the next year, Schwertner requested to be removed as chair of the health and human services committee, according to the Texas Tribune.
Schwertner is also not the first lawmaker to be arrested on a DWI charge during the session. State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso, was arrested in 2013 after a crash. She apologized on the House floor, the El Paso Times reported. She was sentenced to 15 days in jail and was not re-elected.