CHP: State Sen. Hueso arrested for drunken driving

SACRAMENTO - The California Highway Patrol says Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested on charges of drunk driving.

CHP's Valley Division spokesperson Officer Julie Powell confirmed the arrest to The Associated Press on Friday.

Surveillance video from a gas station shows Hueso's state-owned Ford Fusion turn the wrong way into traffic on 15th Street, where his vehicle nearly runs into a CHP officer on patrol driving southbound.

"They observed a vehicle traveling northbound on 15th Street, which is designated a southbound only one-way," Powell said.

The CHP officer pulls Hueso over in the gas station at the corner of 15th and X streets, where surveillance video shows, Hueso is given a sobriety field test by the officer.

"They conducted a driving under the influence evaluation and determined the driver to be impaired," Powell said.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department website said the 44-year-old from San Diego was booked into jail at 3:27 a.m. Friday for suspicion of drunk driving.

Hueso was released from the Sacramento County Jail shortly before noon. He told waiting reporters he was innocent.

"I'm going to pursue my innocence, and in that time I'm not going to make any comments," Hueso said.

Just hours later Hueso released a statement that read:

"I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night. As someone who cares deeply about the public safety, I sincerely apologize to my family, my constituents and my colleagues in the Senate for breaching the trust they've all placed in me. I accept complete personal responsibility for my actions and any punishments that ultimately come my way as a result of this incident. I will also engage in immediate, corrective actions to ensure this kind of personal conduct is never repeated."

Hueso is the fourth Democratic state senator to be arrested this year. The others have been suspended from the Senate.

Hueso's office referred calls to his chief of staff, Ana Molina-Rodriguez, who did not return repeated telephone and email messages.

Friday evening, State Senate President Pro Tempore-elect Kevin De Leon (D) Los Angeles, released this statement:

"Senator Hueso's personal lapse in judgement is both disappointing and wholly unacceptable. We are all very fortunate this incident didn't cause any bodily harm to him or others. Senator Hueso is a good member who does an outstanding job representing his constituents and we will all support him as he takes steps to ensure such conduct is never repeated."

The Associated Press contributed to this story


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