NY Legislator Writes Anti-DUI Op-Ed, Gets a DUI Days Later

"There is no excuse for impaired driving," the Republican minority leader of New York's State Assembly wrote on Christmas Eve. Then guess what happened?
January 3, 2020, 7:41pm
Photo: Getty Images

On Christmas Eve, the Republican minority leader of New York's State Assembly wrote a 415-word editorial, wishing a safe and happy holiday to his constituents, while reminding them to drink responsibly and to find a safe way home instead of driving under the influence.

"Drunk driving is not only dangerous to the driver, but to vehicle passengers, bystanders and other drivers. Please consider the ramifications of impaired driving, especially as we prepare to close out 2019 and welcome in a new decade," Brian Kolb wrote.


"There is no excuse for impaired driving. Here in New York, we have taxis, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and a robust public transportation system. Please, use these services, or a sober, reliable designated driver when making your way about town."

A week later, guess what this guy fucking did?

At 10:27 p.m. on New Year's Eve, Kolb crashed his state-owned 2018 GMC Acadia into a ditch in front of his home. Police were called to the scene, and Kolb failed a field sobriety test. He was arrested and is facing charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and making an unsafe turn. At the time of the accident, Kolb's blood alcohol content was above the state's 0.08 legal limit, although his actual BAC has yet to be released.

No injuries were reported in the crash, which is fortunate on a number of levels. In his Christmas Eve column, Kolb warned that drunk drivers could "turn a season of cheer into a never-ending nightmare."

Syracuse.com reports that Republican Assemblymember Kieran Lalor has already called for Kolb's resignation. "That he hasn’t done so already is a disgrace," Lalor tweeted. As of this writing, no other Republicans have asked for Kolb to do anything except, uh, explain why he was allegedly wasted and driving his government vehicle.

"I don’t think there’s a movement to push for his resignation," Assemblymember Will Barclay said. "I think we want to give him a chance to present his story when we’re back in session next week."

On New Year's Day, Kolb issued a statement apologizing for driving under the influence. "I fully recognize the severity of the situation and I am profoundly sorry,” he said. "There is no excuse and no justification for what occurred Tuesday evening. I made the wrong decision, and it is one I deeply regret.” As of this writing, that is the only comment Kolb has made since the incident, and his normally active Twitter account has been quiet since December 30.

"The way Mr. Kolb was treated would be like anyone else that was charged with this type of offense," Ontario County District Attorney Jim Ritts said. "I take great pride in this office and the deputies that work for me and there was no implications of any improprieties in regards to any favors, Mr. Kolb is being treated like anybody else."

Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella has been appointed the special prosecutor for Kolb's case. He is expected to address the GOP conference on January 8, when perhaps his colleagues will try to decide whether drunk-driving is a Bad Thing or not.