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Laboratory test results have concluded that Assemblyman Roger Hernandez was legally drunk when arrested last month in Concord, prompting an apology from the West Covina Democrat.

Hernandez's blood-alcohol level was 0.08 percent at the time of his test, police said in a written statement. His case will be turned over to the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office for review.

Hernandez, in a written statement, apologized for any embarrassment he may have caused others and characterized the test results as a "huge wake-up call for me." He expressed hope that others can learn from the incident that it is dangerous to consume any amount of alcohol before driving.

"I may have made a poor judgment thinking that I was sober enough to drive after a couple of drinks over the course of an evening," Hernandez said. "Had I thought I was mentally or physically impaired to drive, I would not have gone behind the wheel of a car."

Hernandez did not specifically address the blood-level finding, saying simply, "I look forward to fully looking into the specifics of the test for more information."

California law deems motorists with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

"Any time we send (a case) to the DA's office, we're recommending prosecution," Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger said.

Hernandez, D-West Covina, was stopped by officers in the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Hotel about 2 a.m. on a weekday, March 27. He was accompanied by a 29-year-old woman and his Toyota Camry had been spotted weaving inside a lane on Concord Avenue, officers said.

The first-term legislator denied that his car -- one of the Assembly's pool vehicles -- had been weaving or that he was impaired at the time.

Two days after his arrest, Hernandez said that he had consumed "two, maybe three glasses of wine over the course of a period longer than four hours after dinner."

Swanger said the blood-alcohol test was administered about an hour after Hernandez was taken into custody. Officers detected the smell of alcohol in his car when it was stopped, police reports noted.

Hernandez's blood sample was not tested for drugs because there was no indication during field observations that drugs might be involved, Swanger said.

* Updated at 2:45 p.m. to add comments from Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger. Updated at 5:05 p.m. to add comments from Roger Hernandez.



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