California Legislators Would Lose Access to State Vehicles if Convicted of DUI

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that a new bill introduced at the state level on Wednesday, July 26, poses severe restrictions to taxpayer-funded vehicles for any state legislator who has been either charged or convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

House Resolution 51 was introduced by Republican Assemblyman Essayli yesterday and proposes that any member of the Assembly who is arrested and charged with DUI lose the privilege of having access to pool vehicles, which are provided at no cost to lawmakers until their case is resolved. 

If convicted of DUI, a member of the Assembly would lose access to pool vehicles for a minimum of three years following their conviction.

The measure comes after the most recent arrests of State Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) in May. Min was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge when he was spotted driving his Toyota Camry without headlights by the California Highway Patrol. Senator Min has issued a public apology; however, the case is still pending.

A second DUI being cited for the move is the arrest of Riverside City Councilmember Clarissa Cervantes earlier this month. The most recent arrest on July 1 is her second in less than years. Cervantes later said in a statement that she is seeking treatment for alcohol abuse.

“Last year, over 1,000 Californians died as a result of drunk drivers, Assemblyman Essayli told reporters. “When I was a prosecutor, I fought to keep our roads safe by prosecuting and convicting drunk drivers. Now, as a member of the Assembly, I am troubled by recent incidents of legislators and candidates drinking and driving. Public officials must be held to the highest standards given the public trust placed in us, which is why I have introduced Resolution 51.”

If passed, Resolution 51 would expand on Rule 120 of The Standing Rules of the Assembly for the current fiscal year.

The Resolution will be considered when the Assembly Rules Commission reconvenes on August 14.

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