Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff (Pct. 3) has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday afternoon, three days after his early Sunday morning arrest for driving while intoxicated. Wolff will address the media at 1 p.m. in the Double-Height Courtroom Media Briefing Room inside the Bexar County Courthouse at 100 Dolorosa.
No reason was given for the press conference, but the media alert was distributed by the DeBerry Group, one of the city’s highest profile public relations and marketing firms, suggesting that Wolff has hired them to help him address the public through the media on the subject of his 3 a.m. arrest outside a Whataburger at 10111 San Pedro Ave. A witness told police that Wolff rear-ended two other vehicles in the drive-through lane.
Wolff, 51, failed a field sobriety test and was arrested and taken into custody. A preliminary police report states that Wolff declined a breathalyzer test, which he later disputed in comments to reporters. Booking officers, following routine policy, acquired a warrant for a blood sample from Wolff that will be tested to measure whether he was driving under the influence, and if so, the degree of inebriation.
Wolff was released on a $1,000 bail at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
A DWI is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. A first-time offender typically is fined and required to seek counseling and do community service. The nature of the offense, however, carries a political cost for public officials who are held to a higher standard by voters, even if city streets and highways are filled every night with countless others driving while intoxicated. Elected officials, in particular, are expected to set an example.
Advocates for rideshare companies Uber and Lyft have pointed to the reduction in drunk driving that has occurred in communities where the services are available, allowing people to leave their vehicles at home on occasions where they drink more than the legal limit. It is not known if Kevin Wolff uses such services.
Wolff did not return calls from the Rivard Report after his release from jail Sunday, but he told other reporters that he had at least one drink Saturday night and also was taking blood pressure medicine, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News.
“I don’t know whether it was that, or the lateness of the night or other circumstances that may have led to this, but we’ll see what happens,” he said. Wolff undoubtedly will be pressed for more detailed information about prescription drugs he is taking if he persists Wednesday in saying his erratic driving and apparent intoxication were the result of medications.
Wolff is the son of Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who commented at a Monday press conference with other public officials along the Mission Reach that he had not spoken to his son since the incident, and that he would have to face the legal system like any other citizen.
Kevin Wolff, a U.S. Navy veteran, first won elected office in 2005 as the District 9 City Council representative. He served two terms and then ran for County Commissioner in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012, and faces a Democratic opponent in the Nov. 8, 2016 General Election. He is the only Republican on Commissioners Court.
Top image: Commissioner Kevin Wolff (Pct. 3) will hold a Wednesday afternoon press conference in the wake of his Sunday morning DWI arrest. File photo by Scott Ball.