Rubén AríAztlán Pérez pleads not guilty to drunken driving
INDIO — Nearly a year after College of the Desert Area 1 Trustee Rubén Pérez, 30, was arrested for driving under the influence, a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf Thursday. A trial readiness conference was set for March 7.
Pérez was arrested on Feb. 10 and booked into the John Benoit Detention Center.
His not guilty plea comes less than one month before the College of the Desert Board of Trustees are scheduled to discuss a possible censure of the second-term trustee.
Officers of the La Quinta Police Department arrested Pérez at 12:49 a.m. at Avenue 52 and SilverRock Way, according to jail records.
Pérez was alone when the incident occurred, according to authorities. No other vehicles were involved. He refused to answer any questions, instead referring all of them to his attorney, according to authorities.
According to authorities familiar with the incident, Pérez was in the opposite lane of vehicle traffic flow, with his lights off and allegedly passed out. His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit, according to those familiar with the incident.
He has apologized for the incident.
“A few weeks ago, I made a terrible mistake of which I am truly sorry,” Perez told Uken Report in a text message at the time. “I’d like to sincerely apologize to my family, friends and community. I will do everything in my power to learn and grow from this.”
Also Thursday, a pretrial hearing for Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada Real was continued to March 7.
Estrada Real was arrested Jan. 23 for driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher.
Estrada Real is also charged with hit and run property damage. The charge stems from the same date. He was cited for DUI at the intersection of Calle Chillon and Avenida Navarro in La Quinta.
- Court gavel arraignment: Jennifer Horwitz Law