Wednesday, September 14 2022

The husband of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor driving under the influence on charges related to a May accident in the northern wine country of California.

Paul Pelosi, 82, did not appear in person in Napa County Superior Court on Wednesday. His attorney, Amanda Bevins, pleaded not guilty on his behalf to driving under the influence of alcohol and a drug causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher causing injury.

The complaint comes as Speaker Pelosi grabs global headlines with a trip to Asia this week, including a controversial visit to Taiwan that has heightened tensions with China. The powerful Democrat said the United States would not abandon the self-governing island and stand up for democracy around the world.

Paul Pelosi was arrested following a May 28 accident in Napa County, north of San Francisco, after a DUI test showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.082%.

Officers responding to the crash after 10 p.m. near the wine town of Yountville said they found Pelosi in the driver’s seat of a 2021 Porsche Carrera and the other driver standing in front of an SUV, the complaint says. made public on Wednesday.

California Highway Patrol officers reported that Pelosi was “unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred, and he smelled strongly of liquor.”

Pelosi offered officers his driver’s license as well as an “11-99 Foundation” card when asked for identification, the complaint states. The 11-99 Foundation supports CHP employees and their families.

Bevins, his lawyer, said she thought the reference to a drug in the charge was standard legal language.

Prosecutors dismissed the case as a misdemeanor due to injuries sustained by the 48-year-old driver of the SUV. They declined to identify the driver, saying the person requested confidentiality.

During an interview with investigators from the District Attorney’s Office, the driver reported pain in his right upper arm, right shoulder and neck the day after the accident. He said he also had headaches.

Pelosi was released on $5,000 bail after his arrest. President Pelosi was in Rhode Island to deliver the commencement address at Brown University at the time. His office declined to comment.

If convicted, Pelosi faces up to a minimum of five days in jail and up to five years probation. He would also be required to complete a drunk driving class and install an ignition interlock in his vehicle that requires the driver to blow into it to travel, prosecutors said.

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