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

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

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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

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