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Report: Beto O’Rourke Attempted to Flee the Scene of 1998 Drunk Driving Incident

Report: Beto O’Rourke Attempted to Flee the Scene of 1998 Drunk Driving Incident

Has yet to comment on the allegations he fled the scene

In 1998, Rep. Beto O’Rourke was involved in a drunk driving accident and arrested. The drunk driving along with and a separate arrest for jumping a fence onto the University of Texas El Paso grounds are common knowledge, both to watchers of O’Rourke’s Senate campaign and his Congressional races before.

O’Rourke has spoken openly about both infractions, saying the drunk driving incident was a “serious mistake for which there is no excuse.”

Buuuuut, the police report of the 1998 drunk driving incident revealed a detail not previously disclosed. According to witness accounts, O’Rourke attempted to flee the scene of the accident.

From the Houston Chronicle:

State and local police reports obtained by the Chronicle and Express-News show that O’Rourke was driving drunk at what a witness called “a high rate of speed” in a 75 mph zone on Interstate 10 about a mile from the New Mexico border. He lost control and hit a truck, sending his car careening across the center median into oncoming lanes. The witness, who stopped at the scene, later told police that O’Rourke had tried to drive away from the scene.

O’Rourke recorded a 0.136 and 0.134 on police breathalyzers, above a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, the state legal limit at the time. He was arrested at the scene and charged with DWI, but completed a court-approved diversion program and had the charges dismissed.

In a statement issued Thursday, O’Rourke glossed over the allegation that he attempted to drive off (Chronicle ctd):

In a statement Thursday, O’Rourke did not address the witness account of his alleged attempt to flee.

“I drove drunk and was arrested for a DWI in 1998,” O’Rourke said. “As I’ve publicly discussed over the last 20 years, I made a serious mistake for which there is no excuse.”

Cruz’s campaign has declined to comment.

As National Review details, O’Rourke has used his past as a reason to pursue criminal justice reform:

The Texas congressman and Senate hopeful has cited his past wrongdoings in justifying his support for criminal-justice reform.

“Those mistakes did not ultimately define me or stop me from what I wanted to do in my life or how I wanted to contribute to the success of my family and my community,” O’Rourke wrote in an op-ed for the Chronicle published on Monday.

As these things go, the revelation is more likely to concern older voters than the younger crowd, who’ve largely embraced criminal justice reform for various reasons. Several polls show O’Rourke’s favorability lies mostly in the younger voting block, so the allegations are not likely to do as much damage as they might to another candidate.

Should the sins of youth forever prevent someone from achieving their dreams, particularly if those dreams are in public service? I don’t know. There’s certainly plenty of gray area there and room for discussion. The idea that one infraction disqualifies someone from a higher career goal is accepted everywhere but politics these days. That said, this is a question worth asking:


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Bucky Barkingham | August 31, 2018 at 1:21 pm

Surprised Beto didn’t play the race card, accusing the witness and officers of targeting an Hispanic.

    In Elf Paso? Not sure what the police demographics are, but I bet there’s a very good chance the officers and witnesses themselves included Hispanics.

    He is Irish. Patrick O’ Rourke is his Christian name.

    Escaped from RI in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | August 31, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    His real name is Robert Francis O’Rourke. His mother’s maiden name is Melissa Williams. He became “Beto” to pander to the predominately Hispanic population of his district.

      No, he did not. He became “Beto” as a small child, before he even went to kindergarten, and long before he had any notion of one day going into politics, let alone that having such a nickname would be useful.

      Cruz became “Ted” as an early teenager, by his own conscious choice; obviously not with a view to any future political career, but to fit in better in Anglo society.

      John Kerry is as Irish as O’Rourke is Mexican, i.e. not at all, and the change of his family’s name from Cohen to Kerry was obviously very good for his political career in Massachusetts, but it wasn’t his choice at all; his grandfather changed it long before he was born. The grandfather obviously had no notion of his grandson one day being a senator.

        Colonel Travis in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm

        Robert didn’t use “Beto” formally until he ran for Congress.
        Ted didn’t not become “Ted” as a teenager. He sometimes went by “Rafael” in college.

          Milhouse in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 31, 2018 at 4:18 pm

          What does “formally” mean in this context? On their drivers’ licenses, passports, bank accounts, etc., I imagine they’re still “Robert Francis” and “Rafael Edward”. But socially they’ve been “Beto” and “Ted” for their entire adult lives. Running for Congress would likely be the first time either of them was confronted with the choice of using their social names rather than the one on their documents, and both did so, as do most people who run for office, which is why the option is there in the first place.

          Colonel Travis in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 31, 2018 at 5:20 pm

          I don’t mean legal documents. When he was running for Congress inn 2012, he was almost always referred to as Robert “Beto” O’Rourke in the media but on the ballot he was listed as “Beto O’Rourke”. Before that he was often referred to as City Council Representative Robert O’Rourke. Now? He is never referred to as Robert.

          Coincidentally, I spoke to Ted Cruz’s dad this past week and he told me to my face (just by chance, I didn’t ask him about it) that he sometimes went by Rafael at Harvard like when he started the Latino Law Review there. Informally, he was always Ted.

        herm2416 in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm

        I didn’t know that about Kerry.

      Sorry, you are correct about the name. Beto was given to him as a child, however.

Well. They say he is a ‘Kennedy’.

Let me see if I understand all the nuances in this story:

Beto was drunko in El Paso.

Got it.

It depends, did he leave the scene walking, driving or swimming? If swimming…he’s untouchable.

    Chuckin Houston in reply to Whitewall. | August 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Maybe he’s like a Kennedy in ways beyond his substance abuse. A lot of young women have gone missing in Juarez which is right down the street from El Paso.

    Edward in reply to Whitewall. | August 31, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    It says he attempted to drive away. apparently no bridges or young females in the car either.

He claimed he was deep into classical music in his Beto Van.

DINORightMarie | August 31, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Better question (than the one in the included tweet) – if this was a Republican candidate, would the media and other party EVER STOP pushing, harping, and using it to get themselves elected by knocking out their opponent (a la Obama and most of his elections)?!


The witness, who stopped at the scene, later told police that O’Rourke had tried to drive away from the scene.

This is a bit too vague to merit much outrage. A person who’s just had his car damaged is likely to be curious to see if it’s still operational, and he’d do that by starting it and rolling it a bit. Would a witness interpret that as an attempt to drive away from the scene? I’d need more definite information before concluding that.

In my book,even a dirtbag Democrat is not guilty until etc.

    Petrushka in reply to tom_swift. | August 31, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Interesting that he doesn’t remember whether he tried to drive away.

    Off topic, but the downvote button is simply too close to the reply button. This is made worse because the ads keep popping up and shifting the display while you are trying to post.

    Mercyneal in reply to tom_swift. | August 31, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Did you read the story? He was drunk as a skunk and most certainly not thinking rationally.

    Edward in reply to tom_swift. | August 31, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Someone with a BA of 0.13 isn’t trying out the car to see if it still operates after hitting a vehicle, crossing the Interstate 10 median and ending up in the oncoming lane of traffic. What is truly disgusting about this is the DUI and accident with property damage to others and all his “penalty” was a Safe Driver course and test to get out of the DUI with just paying court costs. I had a one vehicle accident, absolutely sober, where my truck left the farm road and rolled in the ditch. The JP had pity on me when he saw the picture of the totaled truck and I did the same for a Failure to Stay in Lane ticket (though I’m sure my Court Costs were higher than his of two decades ago).

    DaveGinOly in reply to tom_swift. | August 31, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Someone who has been in a collision does not test the vehicle to see if it still works. They get out of the vehicle to inspect the damage from the outside – they want to see what the damage looks like. They might then decide to see if it’s drivable, having inspected the damage and judged it “not too bad.”

    Arminius in reply to tom_swift. | September 1, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    It would only occur to seriously intoxicated person to “want to see” first if his vehicle was still operational after colliding with a vehicle traveling in the same direction than swerving into traffic coming into the opposite direction.

    Sane, functional people would first want to make sure everybody else involved were OK.

    That’s like saying that someone’s first instinct after running a red light and t-boning a woman with a car full of kids would be to check to see how much body and paint work the car is going to need. Oh, and to make sure it’ll still start.

    Arminius in reply to tom_swift. | September 1, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    “A person who’s just had his car damaged is likely to be curious to see if it’s still operational…”

    Love the passive voice, Tom. Beto was just some innocent bystander, wasn’t he? What happened to the poor guy who “just had his car damaged?” A bird strike, a goose through the windshield? The Yellowstone super volcano erupted and the debris fouled his intake? He had just driven into a sink hole.

    Gee, I wonder why, in Tom’s passive voice, Beta just “had his car damaged.” His alcohol consumption couldn’t have possibly had anything to do with it, clearly. It must be something entirely else. Clearly a giant alligator grabbed his car.

    And threw his car into a truck traveling in the same direction than across the median. And, you know, every time a giant ‘gator does that to me the first thing I want to do is make sure my vehicle is still operational. That, I hear, always works with Texas State Troopers.

    Which is a lie as no one has ever tried the giant alligator story on a Texas State Trooper.

    “Florida Man forgets he brought an alligator into a beer fridge.”

    I’ll take your word for it if you admit that Beta O’Rourke is really “Florida man” and therefore ineligible to run in Texas. Because before I can buy your version of events, first I need to hear you say “We have achieved peak Flori-duh.”

I think attempting to flee is a much larger indictment of his character than the DUI. And he is hiding from this as well. So did he really learn anything? Seems to me a vote for Beto is a clear vote for another extremely corrupt politician.

    Arminius in reply to NotCoach. | September 2, 2018 at 12:24 am

    You forget to mention hitting another vehicle before attempting to flee. Just to see it straight. Any wonder that Beta is for sentencing reduction?

Faith and begorrah!!!

I think he looks like a Kennedy, but there was no Mary Jo in the car. I’m shocked!

    Arminius in reply to Old0311. | September 1, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    He was a cash strapped college student. Elect him Senator and there will plenty of girls he otherwise couldn’t afford drowning in estuaries.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.

This Beto DUI looks far worse than that similar story dropped on Bush 43 a week or so before the 2000 elections.

“Beat-it Beto,” a man in a hurry. Keep an eye on this kid, folks — he’s going places!

You know, 26 years-old is full-blown adulthood, for most people. If “Beto” had been a teenager when this conduct had happened, one might be inclined to chalk it up to youthful bad judgment, and all that, but, this guy has no excuses to offer, given his age at the time.

    Paul in reply to guyjones. | August 31, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Give the guy a break! Under Obamacare standards a 26-year-old is just crawling out of Mommy’s basement.

      guyjones in reply to Paul. | August 31, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      New Dumb-o-crat slogan advocating for perpetual adolescence — “26 is the new 16.”

      Arminius in reply to Paul. | September 1, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Under ObamaCare standards a 26 y.o. hasn’t fully emerged from Momma’s womb. By twenty six my dad had already transitioned from serving in WWII in the Pacific to the Korean War

      Somebody check my math. My dad, the sainted Senior Chief, was born in February 1927. He joined the Coast Guard when he turned 17 (February 1944).

      Yeah, he’d have been under 26 when the Korean War broke out.

      Anyone like a nice cup of Cocoa and some footie pajamas and a lecture about the benefits of socialized medicine?

      And before any of you scum bags get any ideas that I’m a hypocrite for accepting Navy medical care but denying the benefits of socialized medicine to every one else, it’s precisely because I had had no choice in my twenty year Navy career that I wouldn’t inflict it on my worst enemy.

      I’m not saying there aren’t good people in Navy medicine. When I was recalled after 9/11 my “across the hall” neighbor was a young nurse at the naval hospital at Yokosuka. She was in tears. She had just been tasked to contact someone who hadn’t been told about the truth about a biopsy. It was positive for cancer and it was years old.

      When you remove the profit motive, you remove any motive altogether. She had been tasked to give the man, if he were still alive, the bad news because her chain of command was too cowardly to do it themselves.

      Typical for the Navy. One of the criticisms we got in our battle group evaluations was that the senior commanders allowed the Lieutenant Junior Grades to sort out battle problems that the Admirals and Captains should have already figured out. I told her that I would hold her hand but she didn’t want to reveal any privacy act information to me. So when she was done I told her to knock on my door as I had a bottle of liquor with her name on it.

      No, nothing happened. She had just gotten done being abused by a bunch of cowards. I wasn’t going to repeat the sin.

2nd Ammendment Mother | September 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

Ya’ll should see the pics of the nearly empty high school gym where Beta held his all important Townhall meeting last night a few miles from his home….
-that meeting was so important that he couldn’t make it to debate Ted Cruz;
-or was he more concerned about it being the opening of Friday Night Lights in Texas
-oh wait…. Cruz insisted they follow regular debate on legislative issues rather than have a “free flowing discussion of ideas”

Even more fun….. Trump is coming down to Texas for a campaign rally… Texas stadium is the likely venue, but Houston wouldn’t be farfetched since despite local petty Dems, Trump is popular for his pro-active hurricane response. Either location there is a much bigger message cooking underneath – Beto made is making a big splash over his NFL comments. Anyone who doesn’t think Cruz/Trump are cooking up a campaign rally that is going to highlight absolutely everything more American than taking a knee IN AN NFL STADIUM is sniffing glue. It’s going to be glorious red meat for the base and I’m even thinking about sucking it up and braving the crowds.

Beto is a buck tooth nerd. Help Wanted. Texas Senate. Socialists need not apply. I hate Ted Cruz he’s like a sniveling man child. But I would vote for him a thousand time before I voted for a socialist.