Sen. Ashburn gets jail, probation following DUI arrest
Updated at 3:20 p.m. with comments from Ashburn's office.
Barstow’s state senator was sentenced to two days in jail and three years probation after he pleaded no contest Wednesday to two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol.
In addition to his sentence, State Sen. Roy Ashburn, who represents District 18, will pay fines and fees of about $2,000, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office. Ashburn’s driver’s license was suspended and he will have to attend a class for DUI offenders.
Ashburn was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers March 3 after he was seen driving erratically in downtown Sacramento. He was charged with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence. His blood alcohol level was 0.15 percent, according to the DA’s office.
Prior his DUI arrest in March, Ashburn was reportedly seen leaving a gay nightclub in Sacramento with an unidentified man. The senator stated he was gay March 8 on the Inga Barks show, a Bakersfield radio program. Ashburn was given a zero rating in 2008 by Equality California, an organization that promotes gay rights, for voting no on all gay-related legislation that came before him.
Ashburn’s sentence will have no impact on his job, his spokesman Andrew LaFlamme said. The senator will not comment about the issue.
“He’s handling that personal issue outside (the office) with his lawyer,” LaFlamme said. “He accepts full responsibility for his actions and wanted to make sure that he was treated like any other resident of California would be treated.”
The State Senate District 18 seat is up for election. Ashburn cannot run again because of term limits. He has stated he will not run for public office in the future.
Ashburn, who signed a no-tax pledge in 2006, was one of six Republican senators who voted for a $12.5 billion tax increase. In March 2009 a Bakersfield man attempted to recall the senator. The recall effort was abandoned in September.