San Diego, CA-Last Friday, California state Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested for driving under the influence after police stopped him driving the wrong way on an one way street near Sacramento’s capitol building. Now he’s under fire for voting against ride-share app Uber.
Hueso, a Democrat who holds the 40th Senate District seat, was pulled over by police just before 3 a.m., an hour later he was booked into jail where he stayed until 12 p.m. the next day, NBC San Diego reported.
Hours before his arrest, Hueso attended a dinner Latino Caucus at the Capitol building where one an Assembly woman snapped a photograph of him and four other members of the caucus having a drink on a balcony, which was published in the Sacramento Bee.
Police did not release the result of his breath tests, but they did release surveillance video of Hueso participating in field sobriety tests.
In statement after his release from jail, Hueso apologized to his family and constituents for his behavior and breaching the trust of his family and colleagues.
“I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night,” Hueso said, according to NBC San Diego.
He added, “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.”
Hueso is the fourth Democrat in the state legislature to land in legal trouble. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told NBC he wasn’t sure if Hueso was going to be disciplined by the Senate, they will likely wait to see how whether he pleads guilty or is exonerated, which is possible with a tenacious California DUI attorney.
Discipline for the Senate is a huge concern, but now he also has to deal with criticism over his voting record in light of his DUI arrest.
Business Insider reported that hours before being hit with DUI charges, Hueso voted to for legislation that would require strict background checks for Uber and other ride-share app users. Uber’s Chief Executive Travis Kalanick seized on Hueso’s arrest and vote to further prove why his app is so necessary.
These ride-share apps allow intoxicated people to catch rides with sober motorists in their area. Individuals who need a ride contact drivers via their smartphones and discuss prices ahead of time. Ahead of the Fourth of July weekend Uber and MADD touted the benefits of ride-share apps, presenting statistics they said showed such apps have reduced drunken driving in cities where they were introduced.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post showed that DUI arrests in Philadelphia and San Francisco declined after ride-sharing became available. But the Post noted their data didn’t account for changes in population and economy or other factors that lead to fewer DUI arrests.