Judge rules on motions in Oliveira case

The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office said in court Thursday afternoon that it sought to modify state Rep. Rene Oliveira’s DWI bond because of his high blood alcohol content and because drugs were involved.

The comment came during a hearing over the DA’s motion to modify Oliveira’s bond and the motion filed by the lawmaker’s attorneys, Ed Stapleton and Sara Stapleton-Barrera, seeking to inspect records relating to blood testing.

The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office declined to elaborate on what kind of drug or drugs were involved in Oliveira’s arrest, citing the ongoing criminal prosecution. It’s publicly unknown whether Assistant District Attorney Rehaman Merchant, who is prosecuting the case, was referring to illegal or prescription drugs as no specifics were offered during open court.

The Brownsville Police Department arrested Oliveira on April 28 and charged him with drunk driving after he left the scene of a car crash. Oliveira, who lost in a runoff election after the arrest to Cameron County Commissioner Alex Dominguez, is finishing out his term for the seat in the Texas House of Representatives that he has held for many years.

A Brownsville police report indicates Oliveira left Cobbleheads just before 10:30 p.m. April 28 before he crashed into a vehicle stopped at a light on the 800 block of Boca Chica Boulevard. Oliveira told authorities who responded to his home that he left the scene of the crash because “he believed the matter to be settled,” according to a police report. Oliveira is charged with driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.15 percent, which is double the legal limit in Texas.

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, which lasted about a half hour, including 15 or 20 minutes while Oliveira conferred with defense attorneys in a conference room, McDonald granted portions of the DA office’s bond modification motion.

The judge also granted Oliveira’s nine-page motion to inspect records relating to blood testing, which will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety.