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Blood Tests Show Martinez Sober, Lawyer Says

Times Staff Writer

Citing preliminary blood test results, a lawyer representing Rep. Matthew G. Martinez (D-Monterey Park) said Wednesday that Martinez was not drunk when his car struck two vehicles in Montebello on Nov. 8.

Attorney Harland Braun said police told him that his client had a blood alcohol content reading of .07% shortly after the accident, which is less than the .10% standard used to measure whether a motorist has been driving under the influence.

“The test indicates that he was not under the influence of alcohol,” Braun said. “He simply fell asleep at the wheel.”

Montebello Police Sgt. Michael Kight said his department would have no comment until the sheriff’s crime laboratory can complete a full analysis in the Martinez case.

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Martinez, 57, was arrested after his car rammed the rear of one car, then struck another about 2:45 a.m. Nov. 8. He and the other drivers suffered minor injuries, police reported.

Braun expressed confidence that when an analysis of Martinez’s blood sample is completed in about two weeks, the district attorney’s office will decline to prosecute.

“There’s not much we can say until we get back the total package of reports,” said Al Albergate, a district attorney’s spokesman. “We want to make sure that we have all the facts before we render a decision.”

Martinez is scheduled to appear in court early next month and is free on his own recognizance.

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Martinez, a former mayor of Monterey Park and state assemblyman, was reelected to a third term in the House on Nov. 4.


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