Update 1:25 p.m. Friday Aug. 22
The local county website shows that Benjamin Hueso was booked and his blood alcohol content registered at 0.08 percent or higher. The time stamp was 3:27 a.m. According to the report, he was taken in custody by the California Highway Patrol’s south Sacramento division.
A spokeswoman for the Sacramento sheriff’s told the paper that Hueso was still in jail as of 10 a.m., but NBCSanDiego reported via Twitter that had been released by midday. A photo showed him leaving, holding papers and a packet in hand.
In a statement after he left the jail, Hueso said he was “truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night,” according to Sacramento’s KCRA.com.
“I accept complete personal responsibility for my actions,” he continued, “and any punishments that ultimately come my way as a result of this incident.”
He’s not alone among Senate members in trouble. KRCA reported four other senators have been arrested this year.
Officers spotted a motorist driving the wrong way on a one-way street in Sacramento at 2:24 a.m. and saw the driver make a U-turn, California Highway Patrol Officer Julie Powell told City News Service.
She said the officers pulled over a Ford Fusion registered to the state in a nearby parking lot.
“He showed signs and symptoms of intoxication,” Powell said of the driver.
She said the officers asked Hueso questions and conducted a field sobriety test, after which the legislator was arrested. Hueso was taken into custody without incident, Powell said.
According to the Bee’s report, Hueso had attended a Latino Caucus dinner at an area restaurant Thursday to honor Latino legislators set to leave their seats.
“That event was over around 9 p.m., so there is a big gap there,” caucus spokesman Roger Salazar told the Bee.
Hueso won his Senate post last year, after Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, won former Rep. Bob Filner’s one-time seat in Congress. Hueso joined the Assembly four years ago.
Hueso’s senate district stretches from Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and south San Diego to Imperial County.
He also served as a San Diego city councilman.
Local criticism came fast. Diana Palacios, deputy chief of staff for current Councilman Scott Sherman, tweeted Hueso’s note from a July newsletter in which he warned about the dangers of drinking and driving:
“The law and common sense make it absolutely clear that driving any vehicle after drinking is a critical mistake. A DUI crash or arrest can be averted in a number of ways: not drinking, riding with a designated sober driver, using public transportation, calling a taxi or staying where you are for the night.”
–City News Service contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: Featured photo from Sacramento Bee, via Twitter.