The California Highway Patrol (CHP) today arrested Westminster City Councilman Andy Tuan Quach on suspicion of drunk driving charges and he remains locked inside jail tonight, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) records.
The 42-year-old Quach, who has served multiple terms on the council and is a Vietnamese immigrant who fled his communist homeland by boat with his family in 1980, will appear in open court in Westminster on Nov. 13 to provide his plea to the charges.
The U.S. Navy veteran, who unsuccessfully attempted to become a SEAL, is being held in custody until he pays $10,000 bail.
Trouble with the law isn't new for the Chapman University graduate. In 2009, he pleaded guilty in a DUI case after clipping another vehicle, crashing his Mercedes into a wall and destroying electrical poles on McFadden Avenue in the wee hours of one morning. The incident, where his blood-alcohol content was triple the legal limit, resulted in more than 300 homes in Little Saigon, the location of people he has supposedly represented, losing power for half a day. As punishment, he received probation.
In today's incident, four Westminster Police Department units and CHP were observed around 11:30 a.m. surrounding Quach's vehicle near an apartment parking lot gate facing Bishop Place near Brookhurst Street and across the road from Sarah McGarvin Middle School.
Quach had crashed his vehicle into the complex gate and was arrested after he failed a field sobriety test, according to City News Service reporter Paul Anderson, who spoke to the CHP.
Except for Quach's public image, there were no injuries.
While being booked inside the Orange County Jail at about 3 p.m., the Republican councilman reported his occupation as "unemployed," OCSD records show.
According to court records inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, Quach is close to Little Saigon businessman Kevin Khanh Tuan Do, who was arrested by the FBI in August 2013 on extortion charges.
Do has pleaded guilty, but Anthony Duong Donner, one of the Westminster Police Department cops accused of being the enforcer in the extortion racket, faces trial next year.
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Before he pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial several months ago, Do unsuccessfully attempted to block prosecutors from introducing evidence of his questionable financial and personal ties to Quach, newly elected councilman Tyler Diep as well as incoming state Senator Janet Nguyen.
[UPDATE: 8:02 a.m., Nov. 11, 2014: After posting bail, the councilman just won release from the Orange County Jail.]