Garrick reportedly was set to run for redrawn Senate district in East County
By Miriam Raftery
June 16, 2011 (San Diego) – Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-74th district), who currently represents North County, was arrested yesterday in Sacramento for driving under the influence of alcohol, after speeding, running a stop sign and fleeing from two California Highway Patrol officers.
Garrick, a former vice chair of the local Republican Party and past GOP Assembly leader, has been put forward by the Republican Party as a potential candidate to run for State Senate in a redrawn 38th State Senate district that would include areas in East County north of Interstate 8 if proposed redistricting plans are approved as drafted.
“Driving while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous. I apologize to my family for the embarrassment I have caused them,” Garrick admitted, according to the North County Times. “I hope they will forgive me for my actions. I also apologize to my constituents.” He pledged to “never drink and drive again.”
CHP has indicated that Garrick was driving his Toyota Camry 45 mph in a 25 mph zone Wednesday night in Sacramento. When two bicycle-mounted offers attempted to pull him over, he ignored them, leading to a chase that ended in the Capitol driveway, according to the CHP. A Garrick spokesperson told the Sacramento Bee that the Assemblyman didn't hear the orders to stop because his windows were rolled up. Officers conducted a field sobriety test after reportedly observing signs of intoxication. The Assemblyman was taken to a CHP Capitol Protection Office, cited and released.
Ken Vanek has been leading a campaign to get impaired drivers off the road since his sister-in-law, Bridgette Hale, was killed by a man driving under the influence on Highway 67 in Ramona. He has been seeking a legislator willing to introduce a bill to require mandatory blood draws in fatality accidents, since the driver in that case was found to be under the influence of drugs at a hospital, but the evidence as not admissible since it was not ordered by law enforcement.
“Here we are faced with a double standard,” Vanek said upon hearing of Garrick’s arrest. “An elected official is supposed to uphold the law. Hopefully he will be held accountable…By the same token, there needs to be a better system in place to prevent injuries. Thank God he didn’t kill anybody.” Vanek also questioned why Garrick was not jailed. “He was probably given special consideration. If Martin Garrick was above the legal limits, he should be held legally accountable, just like anyone else.”
Jess Durfee, chairman of the San Diego Democratic Party, voiced similar concerns. “We have seen too many incidents where tragic accidents are a result of this,” he said. “I would hope that voters would factor this in,” he said of Garrick’s previously announced intention to replace Senator Mark Wyland, who will leave office next year due to term limits. Redistricting would give Wyand's 38th district some portions of East County currently within the 36th state Senate District, which is now represented by Joel Anderson.
But Tony Krvaric, chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party, said he was satisfied with Garrick’s apology. “He has been serving well for quite some time,” the GOP leader said according to the North County Times, “and this was a lapse in judgment.”