Perhaps the most egregious drunk driving incident of the Cinco de Mayo weekend came early on out of East L.A., when a man behind the wheel of his parked car awoke out of a drunken stupor, started the car and drove off -- and proceeded to injure four people, damage six vehicles and generally wreak havoc on the neighborhood.
According to Sgt. David Holwager of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, several calls came in at about 2:15 p.m. Thursday after witnesses spotted a man asleep behind the wheel of his white Chevy Tahoe -- apparently passed-out drunk -- near Clara Park in Cudahy. Even as dispatchers were typing in the information, however, the man woke up and drove away -- immediately slamming into two parked cars and sideswiping a third vehicle on the 4800 block of Clara Street.
But he wasn’t done there. The driver, identified only as a “male Hispanic,” continued on even when sheriff’s deputies caught up to him on Atlantic Avenue -- “driving erratically, with noticeable collision damage” -- and tried to pull him over. He refused, authorities say, instead blowing through two red lights.
State Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina
It’s been a long and winding road for West Covina Assemblyman Roger Hernández following his arrest for alleged drunken driving.
Only last week, long-awaited blood test results came back from the March 27 evening -- 2 a.m. in the morning actually -- that Hernández was pulled over in front of a Bay Area hotel in Concord. Those results showed he barely failed to squeak by, and had been driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol level.
Until those results were released, the assistant majority whip in Sacramento had vehemently denied breaking the law. Afterward he apologized to his constituents and said he may have made poor judgment in thinking he could drive that night.
He also called on the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office to follow normal procedure in charging him. “I don’t want to be treated any differently than any member of the citizenry,” he said.