Paul Pelosi pleads not guilty to drink driving charges

Husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was charged for driving under the influence in a car crash

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, in December 2021. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The husband of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to drink driving charges related to a May car crash in Northern California.

Paul Pelosi, 81, did not appear in person at Napa County Superior Court on Wednesday.

His lawyer, Amanda Bevins, entered not guilty pleas for him on charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol, causing injury and driving with a .08 per cent blood alcohol level or higher causing injury.

State law allows those accused of committing a drink driving misdemeanour to appear through their lawyer unless ordered otherwise by the court.

Mr Pelosi was arrested following a May 28 crash in Napa County, north of San Francisco, after a test showed he had a blood alcohol content level of .082 per cent. The blood sample was taken about two hours after the collision occurred at 10.17pm, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

He was driving a 2021 Porsche into an intersection near the town of Yountville and was hit by a 2014 Jeep, California Highway Patrol said.

Prosecutors filed the case as a misdemeanour because of the injuries sustained by the 48-year-old driver of the Jeep. They have not described the injuries or provided more information about the other driver, saying the person has requested privacy.

Mr Pelosi was released on $5,000 bail after his arrest.

If convicted, Mr Pelosi faces a minimum of five days in jail and up to five years of probation. He would also be required to complete a drink driving class and install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle — a breathalyser that requires the driver to blow into it before operating the vehicle, prosecutors said.

He has been married to the powerful Democratic speaker since 1963. She is travelling in Asia this week.

Updated: August 03, 2022, 5:15 PM