Assemblyman Hernandez set for jury trial on drunk driving charges
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) agreed Wednesday to stand trial before a jury Aug. 7 on two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving stemming from his arrest March 27 in Concord.
Hernandez had entered a "not guilty" plea May 8 in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Walnut Creek. His attorney appeared in court Wednesday without Hernandez and agreed to the trial date.
Police stopped Hernandez after seeing the state car he was driving weaving between lanes at 2 a.m. A blood test found he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.08%, the level at which a motorist may be charged with drunk driving.
In the police report filed with the court, the arresting officer said Hernandez’s eyes were bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol in the car when it was pulled into the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Hernandez told the officer he was going to "my hotel room," but when the officer asked to see the key, Hernandez clarified that he had not yet checked in. The legislator said at one point, "Can’t you just let me go?" the police report said.
When the officer asked him what he would do if the hotel did not have a vacancy, Hernandez said, "I feel like you are harrassing me," the report said.
The assemblyman recently issued an apology, saying, “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.’’
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) in his booking photo. Credit: Concord Police Department.