Capitol Alert

Sen. Ben Hueso gets fine, probation for ‘wet reckless’ charge

This photo provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department shows the booking photo of state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego.
This photo provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department shows the booking photo of state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego. AP

A California state senator originally charged with drunken driving agreed to a fine and probation under a lesser charge on Thursday.

Sacramento County prosecutors had offered Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, a plea deal after he was caught driving the wrong way on a one-way Sacramento street in August. Hueso has pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless driving involving alcohol – a “wet reckless” – that carries lower consequences than a drunken driving conviction.

“He pled out to a reduced charge,” said Hueso’s attorney, Megan Virga.

Hueso will be on probation for three years and must pay an $1,100 fine and complete a six-week reckless driving program, Virga said. The fact that Hueso registered a relatively low blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent helped him secure the more lenient sentence, Virga said.

Other state lawmakers have faced legal trouble for getting behind the wheel after drinking, but Hueso’s case took a novel turn after an image of him posing with other lawmakers on a state Capitol balcony circulated on social media.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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