Republican Assembly Minority Leader who warned about driving drunk charged with DWI


  • Republican and New York State Assemblymember Brian Kolb was arrested and charged with driving while drunk on Tuesday night, Ontario County Sheriff’s Office reported.
  • His blood alcohol content was reportedly more than 0.08%, which is the legal limit for driving in New York.
  • Kolb said there is no excuse for his ‘lapse in judgment’ and that he takes full responsibility for it.

Just a week after warning people against driving while intoxicated, a top Republican in the New York State Assembly was charged on New Year’s Eve with drunk driving.

Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb, 67, who represents a district outside Rochester, was arrested Tuesday night near his home and charged with driving while intoxicated. Authorities said they answered a call just after 10 p.m. about a car crash in Victor. When they got to the scene, they discovered that it was Kolb driving his state-owned vehicle, a 2018 GMC Acadia that crashed into a ditch fronting his home.

No injuries were reported.

According to the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office, Kolb failed the field sobriety tests before he was taken to jail. Later, a breath test showed that his blood alcohol content was over 0.08%, which is New York’s legal limit.

In a written statement following his arrest, Kolb said there was no excuse for his behavior and that he made “a terrible lapse in judgment” that he takes full responsibility for.

“I made the wrong decision, and it is one I deeply regret,” he said.

Kolb has been a member of the New York State Assembly since 2000 and has served as Assembly Minority Leader since 2009. He briefly campaigned to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018 but later dropped out of the race.

Prior to his arrest, the Republican penned a column in the Daily Messenger newspaper on Christmas Eve urging citizens not to drink and drive especially during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“Done safely, and in moderation, these can be wonderful holiday experiences. However, tragedy can be only one bad decision away,” he wrote while acknowledging that December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

Kolb’s arrest prompted fellow Republican Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor to call for him to step down as Assembly Minority Leader saying that what he did was such a disgrace.

However, Assembly Deputy Minority Leader and fellow Republican William Barclay said it’s too early to request Kolb to resign. He said Kolb will eventually have a chance to speak before lawmakers when they get back in Albany next week. Barclay also said that he has talked to a lot of members and that they are concerned.


Source: AP News

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