Republican Candidate Arrested For DUI While Driving With Her Children
The Monitor reports that on June 3, police arrested Vanessa Tijerina, a Republican candidate for the Texas District 27 state Senate seat, for several charges after someone reported concerns that she was driving under the influence with her children in the vehicle.
- Raymondville Police Chief Uvalde Zamora said that Tijerina has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor, interfering with public duty, a class B misdemeanor, and two charges of driving while intoxicated with child passengers, state jail felonies.
- Tijerina posted a series of live Facebook videos depicting her interaction with police in the parking lot of a Stars restaurant.
- The half hour of footage includes Tijerina refusing to exit her vehicle and officers eventually attempting to use slim jims to open a car door. Zamora said that the entire interaction took about an hour and a half.
Of Tijerina’s and officers’ conduct, Zamora said,
The officer approached her and noticed a strong odor of marijuana emitting from her vehicle and her person. When he asked her about it she immediately shuts the window and locks the doors.
In the video, Tijerina said,
If you’re barely tuning in, these police, I came to get something to eat and somebody called the cops on me. This is the second time today, it’s like the third or fourth time this week, and they’re just trying to get in my car but I just want my daughters. They’re going to try to take my daughters away.
Zamora said that eventually, Tijerina complied with officers’ requests and allowed access to the vehicle. Tijerina was arrested thereafter.
Zamora also said that the children’s presence in the car combined with the marijuana odor detected made entry to the vehicle a priority.
Once the officers smelled the odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle that became a concern, because if she was under the influence of marijuana and she’s driving, now we have a duty to protect the children, to make sure she herself is safe and the kids as well in case she should drive off.