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Assemblyman Roger Hernandez found not guilty of drunk driving

But the Contra Costa County jury, which was not told that Hernandez is a state legislator, deadlocks on a count of driving with an illegal blood alcohol level of 0.08.

August 28, 2012|By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
  • Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, shown earlier this year, said after the trial “I’m grateful to our judicial system for a fair and impartial process.’’
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, shown earlier this year, said after the trial… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

SACRAMENTO — A jury found Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) not guilty of drunk driving Monday, five months after police arrested him for what they described as erratic driving of a state car in Concord.

But the Contra Costa County Superior Court jury deadlocked on a second count of driving with an illegal blood alcohol level of 0.08, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Bruce Flynn. He said a decision about whether to refile the second charge will be made by Sept. 17.

Hernandez issued a statement saying he looks forward to getting back to work. "I'm grateful to our judicial system for a fair and impartial process,'' Hernandez said.

Flynn said the jury was not told that Hernandez was a state legislator or that the car he was driving is owned by the state.

The lawmaker was arrested at 2 a.m. on March 27 by Concord police officers, who saw his state car weaving between lanes. One officer said he smelled alcohol in the car and Hernandez's eyes were bloodshot. Hernandez told the officers that he had had a couple of glasses of wine earlier in the evening, according to the police report.

Hernandez has publicly denied that he was intoxicated when he was stopped. His attorney alleged that the blood evidence was mishandled, something prosecutors denied.

patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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