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Sen. Torres Sentenced for Drunk Driving

January 26, 1990|From United Press International

SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Art Torres was sentenced to 14 days in jail and fined $1,330 after pleading no contest Thursday to his second drunk driving charge in two years, but the Los Angeles Democrat is not expected to spend any time behind bars.

Sacramento County Municipal Judge Charles Kobayashi recommended that Torres, who has said he is an alcoholic, be allowed to participate in a county work program instead of going to jail.

Kobayashi suspended Torres' driver's license for 18 months and placed him on four years' probation.

Torres, a 15-year veteran of the Assembly and Senate, did not attend the court hearing but was represented by his lawyer, Dale Drozd.

"There is no comment to be made. It speaks for itself," Torres said at the Capitol after the hearing.

Torres, 43, was arrested last Sept. 6 after police stopped a state-licensed Chrysler he was driving after midnight with the headlights off in downtown Sacramento. Police contended that Torres refused to take a sobriety test. Torres said he tried to take the test but was booked into jail before it was completed.

The lawmaker was first arrested for drunk driving in July, 1987, when his car nearly crashed into a parked Sacramento police cruiser with its emergency lights flashing.

He pleaded no contest, paid an $827 fine and was placed on three years' probation.

Last October, Torres told The Times he is an alcoholic and had completed a 25-day treatment program as a day patient.

Kobayashi ordered Torres not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in his system and to comply with a request for a blood-alcohol test by any police officer with reasonable cause to suspect drunk driving. The fine must be paid by Feb. 2.

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