Wendy Carrillo Opens Up About DUI Arrest

Three months ago, Wendy Carrillo, a member of the California State Assembly, was arrested for driving while intoxicated and crashing her vehicle in Montecito Heights. Carrillo, who currently represents the east side of Los Angeles, is also running for a contested seat in Los Angeles City Council District 14, a position currently held by Kevin de León.

In her first TV interview since her arrest with KCAL News, Carrillo discussed the incident that led to her arrest and how it changed her life trajectory. A native of Los Angeles who grew up primarily in Boyle Heights and City Terrace after immigrating from El Salvador, Carrillo celebrated over three months of sobriety at her official campaign launch.

During her interview with Joy Benedict, Carrillo expressed her pride in her newfound sobriety, stating, “I feel clearheaded, I feel mission-driven, I feel a love for community that’s always been there, but is feeling back.” However, she admitted that the last three months have been challenging.

Reflecting on seeing her family’s reaction after the accident, Carrillo shared, “When I saw my father’s eyes, and the tears in his eyes, I realized my parents could be making a very different decision that weekend about my life.” The accident occurred one night in November when Carrillo was returning from a fundraiser and hit two parked cars.

Carrillo stated she had only had two drinks at the event but was found to have twice the legal blood alcohol limit when arrested. Describing it as one of the most traumatic experiences of her life, she expressed gratitude that no one was harmed in the accident.

Now in her seventh year at the California State Assembly, Carrillo announced her intention to run for the District 14 seat in 2023. Despite her public stumble, she anticipates her equally public recovery and states that she’s focusing on self-improvement.

Regarding coping mechanisms, Carrillo mentioned that people can turn to alcohol, food, or other substances, but denied being addicted herself. Speaking about her decision to enter a rehabilitation program, she said it was a personal choice made out of the need for self-reflection.

After pleading no contest to DUI in January, she was given community service, and her driving license was restricted. Carrillo regards this incident as a wake-up call regarding her sobriety, citing the challenge of the constant presence of alcohol in her role as an elected official.

She is working on making a healthier lifestyle choice and is still exploring whether she could be classified as an alcoholic. Regardless, she emphasizes her commitment to self-improvement as the primary thing she wants to share currently.

With an upcoming election, Carrillo hopes voters will not judge her solely based on the accident. She emphasizes that the worst moments in one’s life should not define their entirety. Traditional_wpblink_ad

She is grateful for the community’s support throughout her journey and encourages others struggling with mental health issues to seek help.

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