Napa County, CA – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) husband was arraigned in Napa County court on Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to DUI just hours after additional details about his arrest were released, including the fact he tried to use a get-out-of-jail free card that night.
Paul Pelosi’s attorney, Amanda Bevins, entered a “not guilty” plea on her client’s behalf on both charges, DUI causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% causing injury, on Aug. 3, FOX News reported.
If convicted, Paul Pelosi is facing at least five days behind bars and a maximum of five years of probation.
Prosecutors said he could also be ordered to undergo a drinking driver class and have an ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle that would require him to submit a clear breath sample in order to start it, the Associated Press reported.
His arraignment was held as Nancy Pelosi was wrapping up a controversial trip to Taiwan.
It also fell one week after Paul Pelosi sold millions of dollars in Nvidia stock right before the U.S. House held a vote that would impact that company’s industry, prompting outraged calls for an investigation, FOX News reported.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) said Paul Pelosi was driving a 2021 Porsche on State Route 29 just before 10:30 p.m. on May 28 when he crashed into a 2014 Jeep driving by a 48-year-old man, the New York Post reported.
The newly-released arrest affidavit showed that when officers arrived on the scene, Paul Pelosi was still sitting in his wrecked Porsche.
“His eyes appears red/watery, he was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred, and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath,” the complaint read.
The officers asked for Paul Pelosi’s ID and he gave them his driver’s license and a “11-99 Foundation” donor card that showed he supported the CHP charity that provides emergency assistance to employees and scholarships for their children, FOX News reported.
The 82-year-old Paul Pelosi showed “signs of impairment” during field sobriety tests and officers “observed objective signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication,” according to the complaint.
The first count of the two-charge complaint said that Paul Pelosi injured the other driver “while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug and under their combined influence,” FOX News reported.
Investigators later determined the politician’s husband a blood-alcohol content of .082 percent based on a blood test taken two hours after the crash, the Associated Press reported.
It was the first time a reference to any “drug” had been revealed in connection with Paul Pelosi’s DUI arrest.
“I believe that the drug reference is part of the statutory boilerplate language in the complaint,” his attorney told FOX News.
The document said that both vehicles had “major collision damage,” the New York Post reported.
The SUV driver, who has not been identified by name, was standing next to his wrecked Jeep when officers arrived and he declined medical attention at the scene.
However, five days later he told investigators that he was suffering headaches, “pain to his upper right arm, right shoulder and neck,” and was having trouble lifting things, the New York Post reported.
Police determined at the scene that Paul Pelosi was responsible for the crash but attorneys for the politician’s husband initially tried to blame the Jeep driver and claimed he had struck the back of the Porsche as he turned onto State Route 29.
The husband of the highest ranking Democrat in Congress was booked into the Napa County jail and released later on $5,000 bail.
The Napa County District Attorney’s Office announced on June 23 that 82-year-old Paul Pelosi had been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and driving with a .08% blood alcohol level or higher causing injury, the Associated Press reported.
Under California law, those charges can be filed as felonies or misdemeanors.
“Based upon the extent of the injuries suffered by the victim, the District Attorney filed misdemeanor charges,” the Napa County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Paul Pelosi was released on his own recognizance after the hearing on Aug. 3 and is scheduled to appear back in court on Aug. 23, FOX News reported.