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Montgomery Council candidate, state Del. Tom Hucker (D) had drunk driving arrest in 2009

Maryland Del. Tom Hucker, who is running for the District 5 Montgomery County Council seat, entered a court-ordered diversion program in January 2009 after a drunken driving arrest, according to public records.

The charges were dropped in October 2009 after Hucker (D-Montgomery) completed the program, which included a series of weekend classes on alcohol awareness.

According to a D.C. police affidavit, Hucker was arrested in the District’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood after officers responded to a call about a crash in the 3600 block of 16th Street NW at 3:45 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2009.

Hucker, 47, told police that he had apparently fallen asleep and hit an oncoming vehicle. After an officer reported “a moderate odor of alcohol” on Hucker’s breath, he was given a field sobriety test and arrested. A breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of .09, just above the legal limit of .08.

He was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence and operating a vehicle while impaired. All were first offenses, court records show.

“I made a very bad decision and am very regretful for it,” said Hucker, who at the time was in his first term representing District 20 in the House of Delegates. “I take full responsibility.”

Records show no other reference to an injured driver in the other car. Hucker said that after the collision they both “hopped out” of their vehicles.

Whatever medical expenses were incurred were covered by insurance, he said.

Hucker said he made no effort to conceal the incident and has spoken about it openly with friends and colleagues in the years since. “It’s been an extremely valuable lesson,” he said.

Hucker is competing for the District 5 seat in a crowded field of primary candidates that includes Board of Education member Christopher S. Barclay, Silver Spring activist Evan Glass, former Hill staffer and Takoma Park activist Terrill North, and Silver Spring nonprofit leader Jeffrey Thames.

The district covers the eastern edge of Montgomery County, including Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Burtonsville. The primary is June 24.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.

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