Assemblyman Roger Hernandez found not guilty of driving drunk
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) was found not guilty of drunk driving Monday by a jury, five months after police arrested him for what they described as erratic driving of a state car in Concord.
A Contra Costa County Superior Court jury in Martinez failed to agree on a verdict on a second misdemeanor charge of driving with a blood alcohol level over .08, according to Court Clerk Cindy Armstrong.
Hernandez was not immediately available for comment when reporters called his office, but he told the Contra Costa Times outside the courthouse: "I believe today's ruling is a testament to good people making a decision based on facts and not innuendo."
Hernandez was arrested at 2 a.m. on March 27 by Concord police officers who saw his state car weaving between lanes. The police officer said Hernandez’s eyes were bloodshot and that he smelled alcohol in the car when it was pulled into the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Hernandez said he had had a couple of glasses of wine earlier in the evening, but denied he was intoxicated when he was pulled over. His attorney alleged that the blood evidence was mishandled, and the jury was not told that Hernandez was a state legislator or that the car he was driving is owned by the state.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Roger Hernandez booking photo. Credit: Concord Police Department