On Dec. 24, New York Assemblyman Brian Kolb published an op-ed about the dangers of driving drunk. On Dec. 26, he tweeted, "There is no excuse for driving impaired this holiday season." That tweet has since been deleted, perhaps not surprisingly, because on Dec. 31, Kolb was arrested and charged with a DWI. Police responding to a crash around 10:27pm on New Year's Eve found the Republican lawmaker, who has served in the assembly since 2000 and has been its minority leader since 2009, in the driver's seat of a 2018 GMC Acadia in a ditch in front of his Ontario County home, USA Today reports. Syracuse.com reports he was on his way home at the time. No other cars were involved. Kolb, who was not injured, allegedly failed a field sobriety test and was then allegedly found to have a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08%, the state's limit for driving.
The Acadia was registered to New York state, and the New York Post reports the state had issued the vehicle to Kolb. In addition to the misdemeanor DWI, the 67-year-old was also charged with making an unsafe turn. "This was a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it," Kolb said in a statement. "I want to offer sincere apologies to my family, friends, colleagues, and the people of the 131st Assembly District." One of his Republican colleagues in the assembly says it's "a disgrace" he hasn't stepped down as minority leader. Others have said they will wait until Kolb addresses the GOP conference at the Jan. 8 beginning of this legislative session before weighing in. (Read more driving under the influence stories.)