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Judge Dismisses DUI Charge Against Southern California Assemblyman

MARTINEZ – A Contra Costa County judge on Tuesday dismissed a lingering misdemeanor drunken driving charge against state Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, saying she wasn’t confident a second jury would convict based on the same facts.

A jury in August found Hernandez, D-West Covina, not guilty of driving under the influence but was hung 6-6 over a second count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.

Hernandez, 37, was arrested in the Bay Area city of Concord on March 27 after leaving a downtown bar about 2 a.m. Authorities said his blood-alcohol level tested 0.08, the point at which someone is deemed too intoxicated to drive in California. Hernandez said he had only two glasses of wine, one about 9 p.m. and another just before the bar closed.

During his trial, defense attorney Peter Johnson attacked the handling of Hernandez’s blood sample and the science behind it. Whereas most misdemeanor DUI trials take one or two days, the Hernandez jury heard more than seven days of testimony, including conflicting expert opinions…Read More