The trial for Roger Hernandez, the West Covina Democrat state assemblyman charged with drunken driving, began Wednesday.
Hernandez, whose district includes the City of Industry, pleaded not guilty in May to two misdemeanor counts stemming from his in Concord.
Although Concord police say Hernandez was arrested with a 0.08 blood alcohol level, a misdemeanor, Hernandez challenged the evidence. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that Hernandez believes there were “problems” with the analysis of his blood alcohol level because he had “no more than three glasses of wine” the night he was pulled over in a state vehicle.
However, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Mary Ann O'Malley shot down the challenge, the Contra Costa Times reported.
Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Mary Ann O'Malley denied a motion to suppress evidence brought by Hernandez's defense attorney Peter Johnson, who argued that Hernandez, D-West Covina, did not drive or behave in any manner to justify the traffic stop or subsequent DUI investigation.
Hernandez also denies reports he was with a Kaiser Permanente lobbyist when he was pulled over, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, although he confirmed the woman he was with works for Kaiser.
Concord police Officer Mike Roberts testified Wednesday that Hernandez, when pulled over, had bloodshot eyes and could smell alcohol in the car, the CCT reported.
Hernandez had also pulled into the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 45 John Glenn Drive.
Hernandez asked the officer to let him go because he was staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, but when the officer asked to see his room key, Hernandez said he hadn't obtained a room yet, according to deputy district attorney Dana Filkowski.
Read more about the trial here.
Read more about Hernandez’s defense against drunken driving charges here.
Hernandez is seeking re-election in November against Republican Joe Gardner in the newly redrawn 48th Assembly District.
With Hernandez still reeling from the fallout of his March arrest, Gardner, a first-time candidate for public office, was the surprise victor against Hernandez in the June 5 primary election.
Mike Meza, the Independent candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Hernandez and Gardner in the primary, threw his support behind Gardner in a press statement last month.
“Hernandez lacks in experience henceforth lacks in wisdom,” Meza wrote. “I have come to the conclusion that Hernandez is narcissistic, deceptive and has been, and continues to be, unqualified for the position he currently holds.
“I found [Gardner} to be more than adequately qualified, not just someone other than Hernandez,” Meza wrote.