Senator Dave Min Sentenced To Three Years Probation For Drunk-Driving Offense

Min’s DUI, conviction expected to greatly affect his 2024 Congressional run

Senator Dave Min (D-Orange County) was sentenced this week to three years probation for receiving a DUI in May, as well as having to pay over $2,000 in fines and being forced to complete a 30-hour state-licensed alcohol and drug education program.

According to the Capitol Protection Section of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Senator Min (D-Orange County) was driving a Toyota Camry through Sacramento after 10 P.M. At 10:23 P.M., the CHP observed Min go south on Ninth Street just north of S Street without headlights on. Following him, they then witnessed him go through a red light at 9th Street and Broadway before finally pulling him over at Riverside and Broadway.

Earlier that night, Min had gone to a few bars with fellow Assembly members, lobbyists, and realtors, and was shown to have had some alcohol that night. He had then left in a state silver Camry.

The officers proceeded to conduct a DUI test on Min. However, he failed, and he was arrested on suspicion of driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08%. Later reports revealed that he had blown a .15 on scene with later blood tests giving a .14 and .13 respectively. This was confirmed with Min then formally charged with a DUI misdemeanor, arrested, and sent to Sacramento County Jail. On Wednesday morning, May 3rd, the Senator was subsequently released and was given a July hearing date.

Later in May, footage of Min’s DUI arrest was released, leading to some to call for his resignation or for him to pull out of the 2024 Congressional race as a result. However, besides his hearing, his DUI has remained relatively quiet until this week when he was sentenced. Min pleaded no contest on Tuesday to his misdemeanor first-time DUI and received  three years of unsupervised probation, $2,050 in fines, and a 30-hour state-licensed alcohol and drug education program that all first time DUI offenders must take.

Neither Min nor his representatives commented on the matter this week, nor has the Democratic Party. However, what is clear is that the DUI has significantly hurt Min’s chances of being elected to Congress next year, with both Republicans and Democrats previously chastising Min for getting a DUI last year. In particular, Harley Rouda, a former Democratic Congressman who was briefly in the running for the 47th Congressional seat earlier this year, backed the other Democrat running in the race, activist Joanna Weiss.

Republicans, meanwhile, are likely to use the DUI against Min during the race, something that could push the balance in their favor next year. While the 47th district slightly leans Democratic, Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) barely squeaked out a win in the district last year, only beating Scott Baugh by around 9,000 votes in a close 51.7% to 48.3% race. With Baugh remaining popular, Rouda out because of a brain injury, and Porter running for the Senate instead, had expected Min to run a close race. With the DUI conviction this week now out there, many experts say that Min is now looking at much less support than initially believed.

Three years probation

“Min managed to avoid a more embarrassing sentence,” said Malik Griffin, a Los Angeles polling analyst. “He avoided having his drivers license being revoked and any jail time besides what he got the night of the arrest. But the fact that he got a DUI in the first place and got three years probation and other punishments will still hurt him. Specifically, he has many supporters who are older liberals who tend to be more strait-laced and are more conservative in the non-political way. A DUI isn’t really forgivable for them, so you could see many of them switch support to Weiss or Baugh.”

“The GOP is really going to push this in adds, in debates, and pepper it in just enough to make people not forget. Democrats will be more forgivable, although with some people, like Baugh, they really don’t like it and have switched support to Weiss as a result. Min had a lot of people calling for his resignation or not to run next year, and with this sentence, Min now has a permanent black mark on his record. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have happened, but many Congressional campaigns have been suspended on far less too.”

Click here for the full article in the California Globe

State Senator Dave Min Arrested For Drunk Driving In Sacramento County

Min was released from Sacramento County Jail on Wednesday morning

Senator Dave Min (D-Orange County), a state Senator since 2020 and one of three main candidates currently vying for Congresswoman Katie Porter’s (D-CA) Congressional seat next year, was arrested Tuesday night in Sacramento County for drunk driving.

While details of the incident are yet to be known, including the circumstances of the incident, what his blood alcohol level was, and if he will contest the charge or not, it is known that on Tuesday night he was pulled over by police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Min was arrested, charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence, and sent to Sacramento County Jail. On Wednesday morning he was released, with further action, including a court appearance, likely to occur in the near future.

While his Congressional campaign has yet to comment on the incident, Min himself wrote of the incident on social media on Wednesday, apologizing for his crime, taking full responsibility for what he did.

“Last night I was cited for a misdemeanor for driving under the influence,” Min said on social media on Wednesday. “My decision to drive last night was irresponsible. I accept full responsibility and there is no excuse for my actions. To my family, constituents and supporters, I am so deeply sorry. I know I need to do better. I will not let this personal failure distract from our work in California and in Washington.”

Dave Min DUI social media post (Photo: Dave Min Official Facebook Page)

Min first entered the world of politics in the early 2000’s. Following a stint as a staff attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Min became the Senate Banking Committee Counsel for Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in Washington, and later, the Counsel and senior policy advisor to the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee. However, he returned to California in the late 2000’s to become an assistant law professor at UC Irvine.

Min’s DUI and the 2024 47th District Congressional race

In 2018, Min reentered politics and ran for the then 45th House District due to disagreements over former President Trump’s immigration policies. However, this proved to be short-lived. Following Min causing a huge stir at the Democratic state convention over who the party should nominate for the race and barely getting their endorsement over Katie Porter, he lost the Primary that June to eventual winner Porter and Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters, becoming one of the few Democrats to get the support of the party yet still lose in the primary during the 2018 blue wave election.

In 2020, after beating Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley in the primary, Min narrowly defeated then Senator John Moorlach for the 37th District Senate seat by just over 12,000 votes, 51% to 49%. In his two years in the Senate, Min has had mixed success with legislation in the Senate. While he has had some success on more social and environmental bills, such as getting a bill that will make all autonomous cars in California be electric by 2030 get passed in 2021, many of his higher-profile bills have failed, such as his numerous attempts to stop off-shore oil and gas drilling being blocked by the combination of Republicans, unions, and numerous Californian companies.

In January, following Congresswoman Porter’s decision to run for Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat early, Min became the third major candidate to enter the 2024 Orange County 47th District congressional race. Currently he is facing off against 2022 near-winner Scott Baugh (R) following former Congressman Harley Rouda (D) pulling out of the race last month. However, due to the DUI, that could change.

“He is a major liability now,” explained Malik Griffin, a Los Angeles polling analyst, to the Globe on Wednesday. “While people in office have gotten DUIs in the past, like former Senator Ben Hueso in 2014, this isn’t exactly an entirely forgivable offense. There is a silver lining in that he was transparent and took responsibility for it immediately, you got to give him that, but the fact that he did it is bad. And we don’t even know the circumstances yet. If other people were involved or something, it could be a lot worse.”

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe