Sen. Ben Hueso initially told officers he had not been drinking the night he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, according to an arrest report The Sacramento Bee obtained through a Public Records Act request.
“I asked Hueso if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages and he stated that he had not. As he spoke, I noticed the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from within the vehicle,” California Highway Patrol Officer D.A. Martinez wrote in the report.
The CHP pulled Hueso over around 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 22 after officers saw him driving the wrong way down a one-way street near the Capitol. Upon peering inside his car, the report says, Martinez noticed Hueso’s eyes were red and watery, and saw “a large white and blue ceramic container of tequila.”
“I left the container on the floor of the backseat and asked Hueso if he had consumed any of it. Hueso stated that he had not,” the report says.
Officers then asked Hueso, a San Diego Democrat, to get out of his car and perform a series of sobriety tests. Hueso put his foot down during the one-leg standing test, the report says, and made several errors during the “walk and turn” test.
“As he walked, I noticed his gait to be unsteady,” Martinez wrote. Eventually Hueso told officers he drank three glasses of wine earlier that evening, the report says, and that his last meal included salmon, broccoli, rice and tiramisu.
Hueso had been at a Latino Caucus dinner at the Il Fornaio restaurant earlier that night, in honor of Latino legislators who are leaving office. Photos posted on social media later in the evening showed him hoisting a glass with fellow lawmakers on a Capitol balcony. After he was released from jail, Hueso issued an apology saying he accepts “complete personal responsibility for my actions and any punishments that ultimately come my way as a result of this incident.”
Results of the blood test Hueso took when he was booked into jail after 3 a.m. show his blood alcohol level at 0.08, according to Sacramento County prosecutors. They have offered him a plea deal to lower their drunk driving charge against him to a lesser misdemeanor known as a “wet reckless.” Hueso’s next court date is Nov. 6.
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