When Assemblyman Roger Hernandez was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving after pulling into the parking lot of a Concord hotel two months ago, he had a question for the police officer who stopped him.
"I'm here at the hotel and I'm not driving any more, can't you just let me go?" Hernandez asked, according to a Concord police report of the incident released Friday by Contra Costa Superior Court.
The West Covina Democrat subsequently was arrested on a drunken driving charge, pleaded not guilty, and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court for a pretrial hearing June 20.
Hernandez has apologized for getting behind the wheel after drinking, but he has insisted that he was not impaired. Tests pegged his blood-alcohol level at 0.08 percent, the level at which a motorist can be charged with drunken driving.
The second-year legislator, accompanied by a 29-year-old woman, was stopped by police about 2 a.m. on a weekday, March 27, in a state-owned Toyota Camry. His request to be "let go" came while the officer was asking a series of questions about his plans for the night.
Hernandez told the officer that he was staying at the hotel beside where he was stopped, the Crowne Plaza, but he could not produce a room key. He later said that he did not have a room yet, but planned to get one, the police report said.
When the officer continued to question him, asking what he would do if the hotel had no vacancies, Hernandez responded at one point, "I feel like you are harassing me," the police report said.
Hernandez told the officer that he and his female companion had been at a bar in downtown Concord, where he had two glasses of wine between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. -- stopping his drinking when the bartender said to "wrap it up," the report said.
The Concord police officer wrote that Hernandez's car had been "weaving from side to side" in a lane of Concord Avenue. He detailed Hernandez's poor performance in a field sobriety test - for example, the report notes that during the "one leg stand" portion of the test, the lawmaker almost fell to the ground twice.
"So I asked him to stop the test, for his own safety," the officer wrote.
Hernandez declined to take an alcohol breath test at the scene, the report said.
Taken into custody, Hernandez was booked at the Concord Police Department jail, where he asked multiple times for his prescription medication that he routinely takes for high blood pressure and "memory problems," the report said.
The officer said he explained to Hernandez that after his booking he could be taken to the county jail in Martinez where medical personnel was available. Until then, the officer said, it would be illegal to give Hernandez the medication.
"Well then, I am going to have to change that law tomorrow," the report says Hernandez replied.