California state senator Dave Min (D.) was driving with a blood alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit before he was arrested for drunk driving earlier this month, according to police records and unpublished footage of his arrest obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Min, the leading candidate to replace Rep. Katie Porter (D.) in Congress, told the arresting officers late on May 2 that he had only drunk one Coors beer and one IPA over the previous five to six hours, according to the arrest report. But in two breathalyzer tests administered at the scene, Min registered a blood alcohol level of .15 percent, an indication that he likely had about four times as many drinks as he acknowledged. Later tests showed his blood alcohol level at 0.13 and 0.14, the police report says.
Redacted footage from inside the police cruiser captures Min, his hands cuffed behind him, rocking back and forth. He repeats the results of his breathalyzer test and asks how many drinks the blood alcohol number represents, saying, "I couldn't even believe that shit, man."
Min's arrest has complicated his bid for Rep. Katie Porter's (D., Calif.) swing-district congressional seat. Porter endorsed Min to replace her shortly after announcing she was running to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.), and many other Democrats and organizations have followed Porter's lead, making Min the establishment favorite. An influential Los Angeles police union endorsed Min last week without mentioning his DUI arrest.
But former congressman Harley Rouda (Calif.) on Monday became the first Democratic politician to urge Min to drop out of the party's primary race. Rouda, who was also running for Porter's Orange County seat before he suffered a brain injury and withdrew his candidacy last month, endorsed Democratic activist Joanna Weiss in the contest and suggested his fellow Democrats would be "hypocrites" to keep backing Min.
"While we thank Dave Min for his service to the party, with his recent DUI he should immediately withdraw from the race," Rouda said in a Monday statement. "If it was a Republican candidate who got a DUI, Democrats would demand exactly that. Let's not be hypocrites—join me in calling on Dave Min to quit the race."
Rouda served one term in Congress, defeating veteran Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher in 2018 before losing to Republican Michelle Steel in 2020. He would have been a formidable challenger had he remained in the race for Porter's seat, having raised $1.25 million by the end of March, more than twice as much as Min or Weiss at the time.
Min was driving a government-issued silver Toyota Camry with the headlights off near the California State Capitol when the police observed him stop briefly at a red light and wait for two other cars to pass through the intersection. Min then started and stopped again before making a left turn against the light.
Police body camera footage shows the officers having Min walk in a line and perform other cognitive tests before handcuffing and arresting him. "I just want to go home," Min can be heard saying.
"I assume this is all going … to the Senate leadership, and all that," Min later says, to which an officer responds that he isn't sure "how far" the arrest report will go.
In the hours ahead of Min's arrest, photographs posted to social media showed him schmoozing with lobbyists at two events, at least one of which had bar service. After Min was released from police custody Wednesday, he broke the news of his DUI arrest in a Facebook post, saying, "I know I need to do better." Later on Wednesday, Min was photographed addressing California realtors from behind a well-stocked bar.
Min's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.