California assemblywoman accused of driving drunk blames crash on a sneeze

The alleged reason behind a Los Angeles lawmaker’s vehicular accident led her GOP peers to react, “We can’t believe…another California Democrat has been arrested for a DUI!”

“You could smell alcohol. She was slurring her speech.”

An arrest early Friday morning of 43-year-old California assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D) proved a challenging moment on more than one front as the politician vying for a new spot was caught on camera endeavoring to complete her field sobriety test.

Responding to reports of a crash after midnight near the neighborhood of Montecito Heights, witnesses to the accident that included Carrillo’s vehicle and two others captured uneasy steps from the Democrat, at one point seen supported by an officer, who had her own surprising claim about how the collision had occurred.

“I’m sorry. I just…I sneezed and lost track of the vehicle,” she could be heard telling an officer in the video provided to ABC7.

Speaking with the outlet, one witness explained how they had heard, a “Very loud, huge bang, and then heard like skidding. There’s crashes that happen right here all the time, so we knew right away that it was for sure a car crash.”

“As soon as we looked out the balcony, you could see her Audi was in the middle of the street, and airbags deployed, and she was in there and you could see her moving and stuff,” described the witness. “We walked out and asked if she was okay, she was hand gesturing like she was all good, thumbs up and stuff. As soon as she got out of the car and started talking to us, it was really clear to me, as a non-expert, that she was intoxicated. You could smell alcohol. She was slurring her speech. She was very impaired.”

The assemblymember, attempting to unseat Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de León with the endorsement of California Gov. Gavin Newsom would go on to be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after she was also seen using the front of a car to steady herself as she attempted to perform requests by the officers.

According to a responding officer, “LAPD has a policy of being fully transparent with the public. It was brought to my attention that this person is an elected official in the state senate. So sometimes, for people that are considered to be, for lack of a better term, dignitary, we allow them to do the investigation in a private area. It does not change the fact that she has been drinking. She has been involved in a crash.”

In her own statement to the LA Times, LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz confirmed that Carrillo’s blood-alcohol level was “double the legal limit or more” and as for the relocation of the test, LAPD Chief Michel Moore had said in a statement, “A critical aspect of a field sobriety test is to provide a reasonable location for the individual being examined to evaluate impairment without obstruction or distraction. The officers conducting the investigation are given the discretion to perform the test at a location that best affords the evaluation of the individuals in an objective manner.”

The California GOP took to X on Friday and stated, “Here’s some free advice for California Democrats: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. We can’t believe we have to send another one of these emails, but another California Democrat has been arrested for a DUI! Democrat Assemblymember and LA City Council Candidate Wendy Carrillo was arrested early this morning on suspicion of driving under the influence after she crashed into multiple parked cars. The LAPD even indicated that her blood-alcohol count was ‘double the legal limit or more.'”

The take was a reference to the May arrest of California state Sen. Dave Min (D) who had been briefly held at the Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of drunk driving that was followed by the arrest of Riverside City Councilmember and Assembly hopeful Clarissa Cervantes who had been held for allegedly driving under the influence only weeks after securing the dismissal of a prior DUI conviction.

“As a public servant, I am aware that I must adhere to a higher standard that demands personal accountability for my conduct and I accept responsibility for my actions,” said Carrillo in her own statement after being released without bail. “I sincerely apologize to my family, constituents, colleagues and staff for any actions of mine that have fallen short of that expectation. I intend to seek the necessary help and support. As I do so, I remain dedicated to my family, my constituents and the community that I grew-up in and am proud to represent.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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