Sen. Roy Ashburn arrested for DUI

State Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, was arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of drunken driving. Ashburn was arrested just after 2 a.m. by California Highway Patrol officers, who saw Ashburn driving erratically near 15th and L Streets, the CHP said.

Another person was in the vehicle, a Senate-issued Chevrolet Tahoe, at the time of the arrest but that person’s identity was not immediately available, the CHP said.

“They observed the vehicle going westbound on L Street, and they conducted a traffic stop. They observed the symptoms of alcohol intoxication, and they arrested Ashburn for a DUI,” said CHP Lt. Jay Bart, of the CHP’s Capitol Protection Section. He said Ashburn submitted to a chemical test for blood alcohol.

“He was very cooperative with officers,” Bart said.

The arrest was confirmed by Sacramento County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sharon Chow. Online arrest records show Ashburn arrived at the jail just before 4 a.m. and was released sometime this morning. He was accused of two misdemeanors — driving under the influence, and driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of .08 percent.

Ashburn had been scheduled to appear this morning at a press conference advocating his bill to allow rural hospitals to directly employ physicians. The press conference was cancelled due to a “personal emergency,” according to press conference organizers.

Ashburn has served in the Legislature since 1996. He is barred by the state term limits law from seeking reelection this year.

An aide at his Capitol office said no one was immediately available for comment.

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