Anti-Gay Senator Issued DUI Was Leaving Gay Bar: Report

The Bakersfield Republican was arrested near the Capitol building

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Friday, Mar 5, 2010  |  Updated 7:28 AM PDT
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A Republican state senator from Bakersfield was arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of drunken driving near the state Capitol, according to the California Highway Patrol.

According to CBS13, Sen. Roy Ashburn received the citation after leaving Faces. The bar's website says, "Sacramento's premier GLBTI Nightclub since 1985 is growing to meet the ever changing tastes and needs of the Sacramento community."

Ashburn has a history of opposition to gay rights legislation.

A Miss Gay Latina Sacramento event was scheduled for Tuesday night, according to the website.

Lt. Jay Bart said Ashburn was spotted driving erratically about 2:10 a.m. in midtown Sacramento. He was arrested after a sobriety test and was taken to Sacramento County Jail, where he was given a blood-alcohol test. He then was booked and released.

According to CBS13, a male passenger in the vehicle was not detained. The Sacramento County district attorney said Ashburn's blood-alcohol level was .14 percent.

The legal limit is .08.

The club's manager told Talking Points Memo blog that she did not see the Senator in her bar.

"Tuesday nights are a very, very huge Latin crowd. We don't see a lot of white guys here on a Tuesday night," manager Laurie Bonifield told TPM. "A white guy would stick out like a sore thumb."

Ashburn released a statement through his Senate office:

I am deeply sorry for my actions and offer no excuse for my poor judgment. I accept complete responsibility for my conduct and am prepared to accept the consequences for what I did. I am also truly sorry for the impact this incident will have on those who support and trust me -- my family, my constituents, my friends, and my colleagues in the Senate."

The Fresno Bee reported that Ashburn was not at Thursday's Senate session. The newspaper reported that Senate officials said Ashburn had taken personal leave.

Ashburn, who is 55, represents a district that includes Kern, Tulare, Inyo and San Bernardino counties. He is termed out this year after eight years in the Senate and six years in the Assembly.

Ashburn also has a talk show on AM1180 KERN. According to the station's website, the call-in show airs Saturdays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


 

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