Crash preceded 2021 DWI arrest of Hays County commissioner

Attorney for Walt Smith says commissioner has taken responsibility for his actions and is looking forward to putting this behind him

Hays County Commissioner Walt Smith was arrested by Austin police in late April 2021. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

AUSTIN – A Hays County commissioner crashed into another vehicle in West Austin before being charged with driving while intoxicated, court records related to his April 2021 arrest confirm.

Commissioner Walt Smith, 47, was taken into custody by Austin police who responded to the 2200 block of Lake Austin Blvd. just after 3 a.m. on April 28, 2021.

Smith, the Precinct 4 commissioner since 2019, told police his knee hurt. An officer noted a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Smith who also had bloodshot and glassy eyes, an arrest affidavit states.

Smith later told officers on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the most intoxicated he had been in his life, he was a 2. Smith said prior to the crash he had consumed two cocktails containing vodka, the affidavit states.

Smith is free on a $3,500 bond while awaiting trial.

His case is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Nov. 4, Travis County court records show.

An attorney representing Smith sent KSAT Investigates the following statement Tuesday evening:

“This incident occurred 17 months ago and we are patiently waiting as the case works its way through the criminal justice system. Walt has taken responsibility for his actions and is looking forward to putting this behind him. The arrest happened in April 2021 and we expect the matter to come to a fair and just resolution in the near future.”

Smith, who is currently running for reelection, won the Republic primary in March by garnering more than 62 percent of the vote.

He faces an Independent challenger in the November election.

Late last year, Smith was caught on camera urinating next to a truck in a parking lot outside a Dripping Springs beer and wine bar.

He later told FOX 7 in Austin that he was not drunk, but was instead impaired due to medication he was taking.

KSAT Investigates could find no record that Smith was ever criminally charged for the urinating incident.


About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.