One of the incredible lines to come out of Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s first debate with Sen. Ted Cruz late last month was when he denied that he tried to leave the scene of the accident he caused while intoxicated.
“I did not try to leave the scene of the accident,” O’Rourke said. “Though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense, and I will not try to provide one.”
Except on the night of the crash, — which happened on O’Rourke’s 26th birthday — an eyewitness of the crash reported to the police that O’Rourke tried to leave the scene and the act was reported in multiple documents about that night.
The detailed official documents of what happened that night are truly astounding.
In another report in the records, filed with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Carrera wrote that the “defendant was unable to be understood due to slurred speech” and that he had “glossy eyes” and “breath that smelled of an alcohol beverage.” When Carrera asked O’Rourke to step out of the vehicle, he “almost fell to the floor” and was repeatedly unable to complete a test of standing on one leg. He “failed by totally losing his balance.”
When O’Rourke blew into a breathalyzer, the results were a blood alcohol content of 0.136 and 0.134. The legal state limit in Texas at the time was 0.10; a year later, it was lowered to 0.08. With a blood alcohol level of between 0.130 and 0.159, a person experiences “gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reducing and beginning dysphoria (a state of feeling unwell).” For a male of 190 pounds, O’Rourke’s weight as listed in the police report, that blood alcohol concentration is reached after six drinks.
O’Rourke crashed on the night of his 26th birthday. He listed his occupation as salesman. (He had just moved back to El Pasofrom New York and was starting an Internet service company.)
In his DWI interview, O’Rourke said he last ate at 7 p.m. — pasta — and consumed two beers. He also mentioned that he had a cold.
The incident was observed by a witness. He told Carrera that O’Rourke, driving a Volvo, passed him at high speed through a 70 mph zone and then lost control and “struck a truck traveling the same direction.” O’Rourke’s car then crossed the large grassy center median and came to a stop. (This video depicts Interstate 10 near the location of the crash.)
“The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” Carrera reported. “The reporter then turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and try to get the defendant to stop.”
Similar information appears in another document, the incident and crime report: “The driver attempted to leave the accident but was stopped by the reporter.”
During the last few weeks in which we’ve seen the teenage drinking habits of Judge Brett Kavanaugh come under scrutiny and criticism. Not to mention being called a liar over his characterization of his history with beer, it’s incredible that those same people aren’t crying foul over O’Rourke’s behavior as a 26-year-old and now deciding to lie.
It’s also worth noting that O’Rourke is saying the cops got it wrong when they weren’t the ones fall-down-drunk that night.
As the WaPo points out, contemporaneous accounts of events should be weighted heavily against new recollections decades later. Sorry, Beto, your pants are more than just a little scorched.