California Assemblyman Allegedly Refused Chemical Test


In April, I posted a blog regarding the arrest of Assemblyman Roger Hernandez for suspicion of driving under the influence. The Assemblyman of the 57th District based in West Covina, was arrested in Concord, California on March 27, 2012.

The trial began on August 8, 2012 and the first witness to testify for the prosecution was Officer Mike Roberts. According to the testimony of Officer Roberts, Hernandez repeatedly refused to take a blood or a breath test following the arrest. It was not officers at the police station began preparing to forcibly withdraw blood from Hernandez that he acquiesced, “saying that he wouldn’t fight [the officers].” It allegedly took more than an hour from the time that Hernandez was arrested to withdraw blood from him.

Prosecutor Dana Filkowski told jurors during opening statements that the evidence during trial would show that Hernandez’s delay resulted in a lowered blood alcohol content reading. Filkowski further told jurors that experts would testify that Hernandez likely had four drinks instead of the two in five hours that Hernandez contends he had.

Hernandez maintains that he was not under the influence when he was on his way to get a hotel room after leaving the bar. Rather, Hernandez’s attorney, Peter Johnson, contends that what seemed to be symptoms of driving under the influence to officers was actually someone attempting to traverse roads that would otherwise be confusing to someone who was not familiar with them. Roberts testified that Hernandez was swerving within his lane and failed to use turning signals.

Johnson also told jurors that he would be introducing experts to contradict the prosecution’s experts.

Stay tuned for an update on the outcome of Hernandez’s case.

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