New York Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb charged with DWI |

New York Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb charged with DWI

Charles Molineaux
Updated: January 02, 2020 06:24 AM
Created: January 01, 2020 07:54 PM

VICTOR, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who had only days earlier spoken out against drunk driving, was himself arrested on drunk driving charges New Year’s Eve.

Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson reported that, at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a passerby reported a vehicle crashed into a ditch on County Route 41 in Victor and it was there, just outside Kolb’s home that a deputy found Kolb in his state-issued GMC Arcadia SUV.  

“He administered field sobriety tests,” Henderson said. “He was unable to pass those tests and at that time, the deputy did place Mr. Kolb under arrest for driving while intoxicated.”

A later breath test at the Ontario County Jail revealed a blood alcohol level in excess of .08%, Henderson said, and Kolb was booked on charges of misdemeanor DWI and a traffic violation, making an unsafe turn.

A contrite Kolb declined interview requests but reached out in an emailed message that said, in part:

“This was a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it. I want to offer sincere apologies to my family, friends, colleagues, and the people of the 131st Assembly District. I fully recognize the severity of the situation and I am profoundly sorry. There is no excuse and no justification for what occurred Tuesday evening. I made the wrong decision, and it is one I deeply regret.”

Kolb had indeed urged others not to drink and drive. A message on his website and a tweet the day after Christmas called for holiday revelers to be responsible with alcohol.

Ontario County District Attorney Jim Ritts, who said he was alerted to Kolb’s arrest at about 6 a.m. on New Year’s morning promised his office would ensure Kolb’s case would be handled impartially. 

“I think it’s really important for the residents of Ontario County, as well as the assembly district to be able to look at this and say this was treated appropriately,” he said. “We will have a special prosecutor and my anticipation is the courts will make sure there is a judge who is assigned to oversee this to make sure that everything is beyond reproach.”

Ritts further said he anticipated the case would be presided over by a judge from outside Kolb’s 131st Assembly District.

The sheriff’s office predicted Kolb would next appear in Victor Town Court but Henderson indicated an exact date had not yet been established because of the challenge of appointing a special prosecutor.

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