State Rep. arrested for DWI posts message on Facebook

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 9:04 AM

AUSTIN -- A State Representative is out of jail but facing driving while intoxicated charges after an arrest following a South by Southwest party.

According to court documents, Austin police arrested State Representative Naomi Gonzalez of El Paso around 2 a.m. Thursday while investigating a car crash.

Her blood alcohol level registered more than twice the legal limit at .164.

APD says Gonzalez rear-ended another car near the intersection of South Congress Avenue and Barton Springs Road. That car then hit a bicyclist.

Paramedics took several people to the hospital including the cyclist, a passenger in the other car and Gonzalez herself, but police say no one was seriously injured.

Officers talked to Gonzalez and say she admitted to having two drinks before the crash, including a Bud Light and an Old Fashion at the W Hotel during a SXSW party.

She said she had one drink at midnight and the other at 1 a.m. and then went to the Capitol to pick up her car.

"We always stress if you're gonna participate in SXSW activities and you're gonna drink, please don't drive. Have someone pick you up, drop you off, catch a cab - but please be safe and be responsible," said APD Sr. Officer Jermaine Kilgore.

In her arrest report, officers wrote that Gonzalez was slurring her words, failed several field sobriety tests and was crying.

Her office did not immediately release a statement, but Gonzalez went to her Facebook fan page and wrote:

"Obviously recent events are concerning for me. However I would like to say first that my thoughts and prayers go out to the other persons involved. I hope you understand, I won't be commenting further until the legal matters have been resolved."

She continued, writing:

“I appreciate the support I have received from my family, my colleagues and my friends. I am committed to moving forward and continuing the important work of this Legislative session."

That fan page has since been deleted. Police say she told them through tears about "how hard she'd worked to get where she was."

Rep. Gonzalez serves on several committees at the Capitol including an ethics committee. She has also authored a number of bills including one relating to the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages.

The Mexican-American Legislative Caucus named her Freshman of the Year last session.

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