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latest news Riverside council member arrested in second DUI case

Weeks after being convicted in 2014 of driving under the influence, Riverside council member Clarissa Cervantes was arrested again early Saturday on suspicion of impaired driving.

Jail records from the Riverside Sheriff’s Office show Cervantes, 32, was arrested at 1:23 a.m. California Highway Patrol officers stopped her on Interstate 10 in Banning.

Cervantes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was Cervantes’ second DUI arrest, his first in September 2014, according to Riverside County Superior Court records obtained by The Times. The previous arrest was first reported by Press-Enterprise.

Court records show Cervantes paid more than $2,500 in fines for the previous case, which alleged she had a blood alcohol level above 0.15% – nearly double the legal limit in California – and resulted in a conviction in 2015.

During a hearing on the dismissal of that conviction, Cervantes told Judge Timothy J Hollenhorst, “Every day I feel remorseful and I promise never to repeat these actions,” according to the Press-Enterprise report.

The judge threw out the conviction on May 19 this year, weeks before she was to be re-arrested. Cervantes was released and her next court date is Aug. 30, according to prison records.

The council member was embroiled in a public row with Sheriff Chad Bianco last year after the sheriff accused her of supporting the vandalism of the county courthouse during an abortion rights protest .

Cervantes sued for defamation after Bianco posted on Instagram, “Shame on the Riverside Councilwoman for supporting the defacement of our courthouse. You’re lucky we couldn’t stop you.

Cervantes denied involvement in the protest and said in a Facebook post that she was in downtown Riverside the day of the protest for a dinner and gallery display.

“It was extremely difficult to understand that our sheriff would do this not just to an elected official, but to a person, without offering any evidence or evidence,” Cervantes told The Times shortly after the incident.

Times writer Nathan Solis contributed to this report.

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