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California Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo arrested on suspicion of DUI, claims she sneezed and lost control of car

A California lawmaker was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when she allegedly crashed into a parked car in Los Angeles Friday morning, claiming she sneezed and lost control of her vehicle.

Los Angeles police received reports around 12:20 a.m. that a motorist, later identified as Wendy Carrillo, collided with two parked cars in the Montecito Heights neighborhood.

Carrillo, a Democrat, represents California’s 52nd Assembly District and is running against Kevin de León for a seat on the city council.

Witnesses at the scene described hearing a bang from the impact which deployed Carrillo’s airbags and sent her Audi back into the middle of the road.

“We walked out and asked if she was okay, she was hand gesturing like she was all good, thumbs up and stuff,” one witness told ABC 7.

Nobody was hurt in the crash.

“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 was she was intoxicated,” the witness said. “You could smell alcohol. She was slurring her speech. She was very impaired.”

The 43-year-old lawmaker seemingly lost her balance as officers helped prevent Carrillo from falling over during the field sobriety test, video showed.

As she spoke with officers, Carrillo claimed she sneezed and crashed.

“I’m sorry I sneezed and I lost track of the vehicle,” she tells one of the witnesses after she rammed into the cars, according to video obtained by Fox 11.

Later on, Carrillo registered a high blood alcohol count of more than double the legal limit, according to LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz who spoke with the LA Times.

She was booked in Los Angeles County Jail just after 4 a.m. and was released without bail just after 1 p.m. on Friday, according to her jail records with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

Later on, Carrillo registered a high blood alcohol count of more than double the legal limit, according to LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz who spoke with the LA Times.

In a statement released after her arrest, Carrillo apologized and realized she is held to a higher standard than others but failed to acknowledge the DUI.

“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, the statement read. “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.”

Carrillo was first elected to the state assembly in 2017, becoming the first formerly illegal immigrant to be elected to the state’s lower chamber.

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed Carrillo during her reelection campaign in 2022, which saw her district, which currently encompasses parts of northeastern and eastern Los Angeles, and has a majority Hispanic population, get redistricted.

She is due back in court on Dec. 1.


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