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Apr 26 2012

AD-48: California Assemblyman Roger Hernandez Apologies for Driving Drunk in a California State-Owned Assembly Car

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Good grief, NOW Democrat Assemblyman Roger Hernandez apologizes.

A Southern California state assemblyman apologized Wednesday for a drunken-driving arrest in Concord last month, calling the incident “a huge wake-up call for me.”

Assemblyman Roger Hernández, 36, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, the point at which a driver is considered to be drunk, when he was stopped about 2 a.m. March 27, police said Wednesday.

Hernández, a Democrat from West Covina (Los Angeles County), issued a statement later Wednesday saying the results of the chemical test “are a huge wake-up call for me. I may have made a poor judgment thinking that I was sober enough to drive after a couple of drinks over the course of an evening.

“Had I thought I was mentally or physically impaired to drive, I would not have gone behind the wheel of a car,” he said.

Hernández added that he hoped others would recognize “how dangerous it could be to drink any amount of alcohol prior to driving, as I have.”

He concluded his statement by saying, “I offer my sincerest apologies to the constituents that I serve in the 57th Assembly District, to my family, colleagues and staff for any embarrassment I may have caused.”

No charges have been filed yet against Hernández. The case has been turned over to the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office, said Concord police Lt. Bill Roche.

Actually, the Democratic Party Caucus should immediately strip Hernandez of his leadership position in the Assembly. He is the Assistant Majority Whip.

And, Hernandez should resign his office. The voters of the 48th Assembly district deserve better.

The first-term legislator had told reporters shortly after his arrest that he did not believe he was drunk when he was stopped and that the officer did not have probable cause to pull him over. He said he had been visiting a friend in the Bay Area.

On Friday, Hernández gave up his right to drive a state-owned vehicle after acknowledging he had not gotten permission to drive the Toyota outside the Sacramento area.

In a statement, Assembly Speaker John Pérez said, “Like all Californians, Assembly members deserve due process and for all the facts to be presented. While that is taking place, I support Assemblyman Hernández’s decision to voluntarily relinquish his access to drive Assembly pool vehicles.”

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