One of the top Republicans in New York state was arrested on New Year’s Eve for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) just weeks after he wrote a holiday column urging readers not to drive while impaired.
The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office arrested Republican Brian Kolb, the New York State Assembly minority leader, after responding to a single-car crash with no injuries in Victor, N.Y., at about 10:30 p.m., according to a press release from the office.
Kolb was taken into custody and reportedly had a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.08, the state’s legal limit.
The minority leader on Wednesday released a statement in response to his arrest, apologizing and calling the incident a “terrible lapse in judgment.”
“This was a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it,” he said in the statement obtained by WXXI, a public media news outlet in Rochester, N.Y. “I want to offer sincere apologies to my family, friends, colleagues, and the people of the 131st Assembly District.”
“There is no excuse and no justification for what occurred Tuesday evening,” he added in the statement. “I made the wrong decision, and it is one I deeply regret.”
Kolb had written a column on Dec. 20 recognizing National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. In the column, he urged readers not to drive while impaired and said the state should strive for zero arrests, tickets and violations related to intoxicated driving.
“Many of our holiday traditions, especially our New Year’s Eve celebrations, involve indulging in spirits,” the column read. “Done safely, and in moderation, these can be wonderful holiday experiences.”
“However, tragedy can be only one bad decision away.”
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a fellow Republican, demanded that Kolb step down as GOP leader — and said it was a disgrace he had not done so already.
— Kieran Michael Lalor (@KieranLalor) January 1, 2020