Lake Forest Councilman Hit with DUI Arrest

Peter Herzog was jailed after allegedly driving erratically on Nov. 17, officials said.

Lake Forest City Councilman Peter Herzog was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Herzog, 57, was taken into custody shortly after 8 p.m. Nov. 17 and released from jail the next morning, according to sheriff's Lt. Pat Higa. The arrest was first reported in the Orange County Register.

The veteran councilman and former mayor, first elected in 1994, was arrested at his Coventry Lane home after someone allegedly saw him driving erratically on Lake Forest Drive, Higa said.

Herzog is scheduled to enter his plea Dec. 17.

Gloria December 03, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Where has this news been for over two weeks?
Andromeda December 03, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I assume it's all about politics. But they reported when Michael Schroeder got busted for DUI. And he's near the top of the pecking order. But it took them nearly 2 weeks to report Schroeder's arrest too. Maybe it helps with damage control. Who knows? But at the end of the day it was reported. At least it's not buried indefinitely. The electorate do have a right to know.
MFriedrich December 03, 2012 at 11:55 PM
It could have been worse. The title reads like a more optimal outcome. It could have just as easily been "Peter Herzog hits (fill in the blank)" with: <toddler>, <mother of three>, <college bound teenager>, <traffic cop>, <outdoor restaurant patrons>. Also, on waiting 2 weeks to even uncover the story, nice job OC Register. Next week? They'll finally disclose the winner of the 2012 World Series.
Sarah Bardowell December 04, 2012 at 04:40 AM
I was wondering when The Patch was going to report on this??? I read this on the OC Sheriff's Blotter 2 weeks ago. After all, he did mark down "city councilman" under employment on the arrest record. I'm just a housewife, maybe The Patch should hire me.
Andromeda December 04, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Investigative journalists ain't what they used to be, Sarah. I don't think Woodward or Bernstein would last long in journalism today. Both would get run out of town on a rail and end up running ad for the PennySaver. Times have changed, dear.
Andromeda December 04, 2012 at 06:54 AM
After reading the gist of the article I guess I only have a couple burning questions. First off, was the witness the same guy who followed Mayor Righeimer home from a bar in Costa Mesa? If so, that might create a nice defense strategy. Secondly, if the cops knocked on Herzog's door after he allegedly drove home loaded why would he answer it? He's a lawyer, right? Oh well. I guess hindsight is 20/20. It's easy to backseat quarterback after the play is run and the clock expires.
Homer December 04, 2012 at 06:58 AM
That's why you answer the door with a beverage in your hand.
Andromeda December 04, 2012 at 07:06 AM
You're one funny dude, Homer. Did you attend law school south of the border by chance? :^)
Dennis Fletcher December 04, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Homer sounds pretty clever to me. Didnt know the cops would go to a home based on a report of alleged drunk driving and arrest a person if they were over the limit in their own home. Call me naïve I guess.
MisturChips December 04, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Hope he does his community service hours at Irvine Park - at least it's beautiful. In all seriousness, though, there are missing facts that we probably won't hear about. Having close friends (who don't drink!) written up for DUI, I know that the system is neither fool proof nor well designed. It is a knee-jerk reaction to an event due to what COULD happen (and does happen regularly each day) when someone drives while intoxicated. Several years ago, I was jury foreman on a DUI case, and the law was so clearly written it got the plaintiff off on 1 of the two charges. Crazy to say the least, but jury instructions are jury instructions. Let's not pass judgement until more information is available. Even so, let's leave it up to a jury to make the decision if indeed it goes that far.
MisturChips December 04, 2012 at 08:39 PM
There are time tables established by thorough testing that are fairly accurate for given body types / sizes. These show how long it would take for alcohol to be absorbed into the body etc. If the accused was tested quickly enough, it would be plausible to tell how long ago the 'bad' BAC was reached. This, especially if someone had just hammered down a highball-o-scotch. They would simply have to test again each half hour or so to see the spike; then they'd know for sure. Of course, someone could've slipped 'em a mickey at a restaurant...
Andromeda December 04, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Dennis, showing up at the door with a drink in hand won't do squat. Other than maybe getting a chuckle out of the cops. As soon as he allegedly opened up the door he was had. Homer means well though. His entertainment value is priceless.
Andromeda December 04, 2012 at 08:51 PM
MisturChips, ever heard the term "Court of Public Opinion"? It is an informal way for citizens to form opinions on matters judicial. Promoting silence until court cases are adjudicated is simply unamerican. Besides, many times juries get it wrong too.
MisturChips December 04, 2012 at 09:18 PM
True, Andromeda, that the public oft make switch work of forming an opinion, and usually with limited factual data to process. I'm going to watch this unfold a bit before making my opinion. I've seen how horribly wrong this type of thing can go, and how folks get hammered by the courts (going to alcohol aversion classes when they are teetotalers?) when the facts just don't make sense. Either way, glad nobody suffered missing digits, or were otherwise damaged over this event.
Bong Sativa December 04, 2012 at 10:15 PM
What a hypocritical drunk whose piosity is only exceeded by his stupidity ! This self-righteous simpleton personally led the effort to illegally deny "safe & legal access" to medical marijuana patients in Lake Forest,defying state law with a religious fervor ! This futile effort has cost local taxpayer's over a million dollars as the city refuses to abide by the law & has appealed their loss in the Appellate Court to the State Supreme Court ! Every elected official in California takes an oath to uphold all the laws of the state,not just the ones that they like & Peter Herzog's vindictive attack on cannabis patients constitutes malfeasance in office ! When he couldn't get his way in state court he appealed to the federal government to help him circumvent & violate state law another obvious act of malfeasance ! Further any elected official who conspires with the federal government to usurp the will of the voters,legislators & state law is guilty of treason against the state - a potential death penalty offense ! Let's remove this chronically inebriated cretin from office,have a public trial & give him a lethal injection now ! Ironically a study in the August issue of The Journal of School Health found that alcohol is in fact the "gateway drug" not marijuana,so Peter Herzog has been guzzling the real culprit all along ! Karma's an unforgiving bitch & Peter Herzog is a reprehensible (reader's choice of adjectives) ! Enough is enough,Lake Forest deserves far better than Herzog !
cathy breese December 04, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Interesting "bong" aside from the drunken council member's special attention I absolutely agree with the efforts to "legalize" marijuana. From recovering vials of the illegal substance left in the street and in bushes around the park close to my house that is close to Herzogs home I seriously doubt that those who need pot go to a public park to "feel better." The argument for safe and legal access is just a stupid ploy for pot to be available to anyone and everyone, it is not medical marijuana smoked in ones home to alleviate nausea and pain but loaded people getting high away from home and then also driving on the same streets as Herzog drives.
cathy breese December 04, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I disagree with the efforts to allow marijuana to be legalized. Now after reading my post with the "agree" statement, I stand here with pudding all over my face. Please note it is disagree for the reasons I stated above.
Andromeda December 04, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I won't kick a man when he's down, Bong. Somehow he has to show up at the Council meeting tonight and hold his head up. But the gist of your opinion is not without some merit. Leaders who spend oodles of public funds to keep us 'safe' from intoxicating substances should walk the higher road. But life is far from perfect.
MisturChips December 05, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Personally, I'm allergic to the stuff, but I believe you have the freedom in this country to wave your arms about as much as you want, but it stops at someone else's face. If you want to consume any drug, alcohol, tylenol, pot, cocaine, or ?, do it in the comfort of your own home, and don't put yourself in control of any equipment that will most likely cause harm to others if whatever you're consuming causes loss of faculty.
Honest Truth December 05, 2012 at 02:10 AM
It seems Peter has had a rough time with the law lately (I researched these through county website searches): 1. Case #IRM187149 - Not wearing seatbelt (6/2003) - Orange County 2. Case #65067SN - Not wearing seatbelt (12/2003) - Orange County 3. Case #U338370PH - Speeding (8/2004) - San Bernardino County 4. Case #76367WJ - Not wearing seatbelt (6/2005) - Orange County 5. Case #U355550PH - Not wearing seatbelt (10/2005) - San Bernardino County 6. Case #SH653173 - Not wearing seatbelt (5/2008) - Orange County 7. Case #SH685199 - Not wearing seatbelt (10/2008) - Orange County 8. Case #SH730064 - Talking on Cellphone while Driving (6/2009) - Orange County 9. Case #SH779528 - Not wearing seatbelt (6/2010) - Orange County 10. Case #56050PQ - Not wearing seatbelt (2/2012) - Orange County 11. Case #70576AUPH - Not wearing seatbelt (date unknown) - Riverside County Peter - be sure to buckle up. And tell me when and where you will be driving, PLEASE!!!
michael majowicz December 05, 2012 at 02:21 AM
El Toro Resident December 05, 2012 at 05:49 AM
I was wondering why the media was surpressing the arrest of Susan Kang Schroeder's husband and now Peter Herzog. There's a service called "Taxi" and anyone with an ounce of sense could use the service. Personally, I couldn't afford NOT to use the service if I was out drinking.
Honest Truth December 05, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Here is the website to search for Peter's OC traffic cases: https://ocapps.occourts.org/CourtIndex/disclaimer.jpp
Tim December 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM
This is the same setup that happened in Costa Mesa. This sounds really corrupt to me!
El Toro Resident December 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I find it interesting that you can no longer see the information you posted before on the County Web Site. The cases are there but the details are not unless I'm missing something.
Andromeda December 05, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I don't understand. Why wouldn't the guy wear his seatbelt after getting popped multiple times? He's a Republican, not a Libertarian or a Constitutionalist, right? Or don't the fines bother him? The fines must be pretty hefty after getting popped for the 3rd or 4th time. Very strange. Like the banker who never wears a mac in the pouring rain on Penny Lane. There must be a good story behind it.
LFh00fer December 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM
If the reports about Peter Herzog are correct and he has an extremely long arrest/conviction record including offenses that present a clear danger to others (speeding, talking on a cellphone), and now the arrest for DUI, let me be the first to call for his resignation. City Council members make laws, they shouldn't break laws. Anyone can be caught for a minor offense, but Herzog's pattern of behavior shows a reckless disregard for the law and for the wellfare of others over a long period of time. He should step down.
Frank Mockery December 06, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Peter Herzog should be forced to blow into a Breath-a-lizer & be given a field sobriety test in public at City Hall prior to every City Council meeting until the end of his term or until his overdue resignation becomes final !!! Hasn't this political pariah done enough damage to Lake Forest & it's reputation already ? I think the answer is obviously YES as in "YES officer,I have been drinking tonight" ???
El Toro Resident December 06, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Why is the news story now being hidden in the back of the news? Is the Patch afraid to keep this alive as it should be? Is Mr.Herzog throwing his political powers around? I would find it hard to believe people just don't give a crap.
Summer Hemphill December 06, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Peter Herzog is an embarassment to Lake Forest & should immediately tender his resignation & leave town ! Denying "safe & legal access" to medical marijuana patients illegally (at a cost of over one million taxpayer dollars) while guzzling bourbon by quart & driving is as outrageous as it is the height of hypocrisy ! Herzog must go now !!!


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