Councilman Whyte makes first court appearance in DWI case; prosecutors have not filed charge yet


SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio City Councilman Marc Whyte (D10) briefly appeared in court for the first time Tuesday morning, four-and-a-half months after his Dec. 29 arrest for DWI.

Whyte, who represents the Northeast Side of the city, did not speak during the appearance, which County Court 11 Judge Erica Peña agreed to reschedule to June 20. Luis Echeverria, an assistant district attorney with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division, told reporters after the hearing they were still gathering final bits of evidence and reviewing the case before filing an official charge.

“I don’t want, in other words, to have to come to court later and say, ‘Judge, we need more time because this piece of information is missing or that piece is missing,’” Echeverria said. “I want to make sure we have everything before we proceed to the next steps.”

Echeverria estimated prosecutors are about three weeks from making a final decision on the case.

Prosecutors just received video from the body-worn camera of a second San Antonio Police officer at the scene within the past two weeks, Echeverria said, and he was still talking with a blood expert about rates of alcohol absorption.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory found Whyte had a 0.089 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood – above the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC). However, Whyte’s blood was drawn more than two hours after he was pulled over.

Whyte faces a Class B misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

San Antonio police said Whyte was speeding that night on Northeast Loop 410 and didn’t properly signal a lane change, prompting the stop at 11:07 p.m. The councilman admitted to having three drinks over the course of the evening and was arrested after undergoing a battery of field sobriety tests.

A pair of lawyers KSAT spoke with were split on how damning or not the video of the arrest was.

Though the District 10 councilman declined to provide a sample, San Antonio police got a warrant for his blood, which was drawn at 1:29 a.m. the next morning and sent to the Texas DPS Crime Laboratory in Austin.

Whyte had returned from Australia earlier that day. The councilman has repeatedly said he did not feel intoxicated that night but takes responsibility for his actions.

“You know, obviously not somewhere that I want to be, certainly. But listen, I respect the legal process. It needs to play out. Today we were here to allow the court to reset the hearing and – just gonna follow instructions,” he told reporters after Tuesday’s appearance.

The city council censured Whyte after the arrest, and the mayor suspended him from his committee assignments on Jan. 11, the same day the San Antonio Police Department released video of the councilman’s arrest.

However, the mayor restored Whyte’s assignments on April 12. In fact, the District 10 councilman headed straight from his court appearance Tuesday to an Audit Committee meeting.

Whyte is the second District 10 Councilman to face a DWI charge in as many years. He was arrested a year and a day after his predecessor, Clayton Perry, was booked on his DWI charge.

Perry ended up pleading no contest to charges stemming from a November 2022 drunken hit-and-run crash. He received one year of probation, which he successfully completed Apr. 16, resulting in the charges being dismissed.

Perry’s attorney, David Christian also represents Whyte.

Whyte took office in June 2023 after winning a seven-way race for Perry’s empty seat.