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San Diego Legislator Ben Hueso Arrested On DUI Charge

Booking mug of state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, Aug. 22, 2014. He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Courtesy of California Highway Patrol
Booking mug of state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, Aug. 22, 2014. He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of driving under the influence.

CHP in Sacramento arrested the state senator and former San Diego councilman

State Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego was arrested early Friday morning by the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Hueso, a Democrat, was arrested at 2:39 a.m. at 15th and X streets and was booked into the Sacramento County jail at 3:54 a.m., sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said.

Hueso, 44, faces misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department jail website. His bail was set at $1,482, and he was out of jail by 11:30 a.m.


KPBS media partner 10News reports Hueso issued the following statement regarding his arrest:

"I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night. As someone who cares deeply about the public safety, I sincerely apologize to my family, my constituents and my colleagues in the Senate for breaching the trust they've all placed in me. I accept complete personal responsibility for my actions and any punishments that ultimately come my way as a result of this incident. I will also engage in immediate, corrective actions to ensure this kind of personal conduct is never repeated."

CHP Officer Julie Powell told City News Service that officers spotted a motorist driving the wrong direction on a one-way street in Sacramento at 2:24 a.m. and saw the driver make a U-turn. She said the officers pulled over a Ford Fusion registered to the state in a nearby parking lot.

"He showed signs and symptoms of intoxication," Powell said of the driver, which turned out to be Hueso.

She said the officers asked Hueso questions and conducted a field sobriety test, after which the legislator was arrested. Hueso, who represents southern San Diego County, Imperial County and part of Riverside County, was taken into custody without incident, Powell said.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Hueso was arrested after attending a Latino Caucus dinner Thursday night to honor Latino lawmakers leaving office.


A tweet from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, which has since been deleted, showed a photo of Hueso and several other lawmakers drinking on a balcony just off the Assembly chambers at 11:19 p.m. Thursday.

He is serving his first term in the Senate after winning a special election in March 2013 and chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Before that, he was assemblyman and chaired the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

Hueso served on the San Diego City Council from 2006 to 2010 and was council president from 2008 to 2010. He was elected to the Assembly in 2010.

Corrected: May 20, 2024 at 12:45 PM PDT
City News Service contributed to this report.