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California lawmaker Dave Min arrested, cited with drunk driving

California state Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine), who is running for Congress next year in a competitive Orange County district, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and released from Sacramento County jail Wednesday, according to Sacramento Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol records.

Min confirmed the arrest in a social media post that he was cited with a misdemeanor DUI.

“Last night I was cited for a misdemeanor for driving under the influence,” Min wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “My decision to drive last night was irresponsible. I accept full responsibility and there is no excuse for my actions. To my family, constituents and supporters, I am so deeply sorry. I know I need to do better. I will not let this personal failure distract from our work in California and in Washington.”

Min’s campaign declined to answer additional questions on the record.

CHP officers reported seeing a silver Toyota Camry late Tuesday night traveling south without its headlights on not far from the Capitol in Sacramento, according to an arrest report that CHP provided to The Times. The officers followed the car to 9th Street and Broadway, where they saw the driver “stop at a red light momentarily but then proceed into the intersection while the light remained red.” Officers then pulled Min over.

“The officers contacted the driver of the vehicle and noticed signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication,” the report said. “The officers conducted a Driving Under the Influence [DUI] investigation and determined the driver was driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.”

Officers arrested Min at 10:51 p.m. at Broadway and Riverside, according to the report. He was driving a state vehicle, according to the CHP.

Min is running in the hotly contested 47th Congressional District currently represented by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), who is seeking to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Min will face former Republican state Assemblyman Scott Baugh, Democrat Joanna Weiss and Republican Max Ukropina, among others, for the purple district seat that the GOP is pouring its energy into flipping red in 2024.

“I’m thankful that law enforcement was able to intervene and glad that no one was hurt. It’s incredibly disappointing to see career politicians behave this way while representing us in Sacramento. It’s yet another reminder that Orange County deserves new leadership, which is why I am running for Congress,” Ukropina said in a statement. Baugh and Weiss declined to comment.

The district includes Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Porter narrowly defeated Baugh and won a third term in Congress with 51.7% of the vote last year, according to the California Secretary of State’s office. Porter endorsed Min immediately after he announced his bid.

Min was elected to the state Senate in 2020 after beating an incumbent Republican representing a traditionally red district. He’s focused his legislative attention on passing new gun control laws and fighting climate change. Min carried unsuccessful legislation to ban offshore oil drilling after the 2021 oil spill in Huntington Beach.

Min is a former UC Irvine law professor with an extensive background in banking and housing policy.

Min is not the first state legislator to be accused of driving drunk. In 2014, then-state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

In 2012, then-Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-Covina) was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, but a jury later found him not guilty.

In 2011, then-Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad) pleaded no contest to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and agreed to a four-month suspension. In 2010, then state Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

The California state Senate responded in 2015 by creating a 24-hour driving service for members to call while they were in Sacramento and needed a ride. Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins’ office confirmed that the chamber still has a security service that drives senators during the day and evening to and from events in Sacramento, as needed. Lawmakers are supposed to use the service for legislative purposes.

“Like Senator Min, we’re disappointed in his actions, but pleased that he’s taken responsibility and apologized,” Atkins (D-San Diego) said in a statement.

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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