Connecticut lawmaker could see drunken driving charge erased
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut lawmaker arrested after a crash near the state Capitol could see her drunken driving charge erased from her record in a year if she completes a probation program that includes alcohol education or substance abuse treatment.
Rep. Robin Comey, a Branford Democrat, appeared Friday in Hartford Superior Court, where a judge approved her application for the state's impaired driving intervention program.
Comey's lawyer, Charles Tiernan III, said Comey regrets her actions and is thankful no one was hurt. He said she received alcohol treatment at an in-patient program.
Hartford police said Comey's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit for driving on March 16 when she crashed her car on Capitol Avenue after leaving a restaurant. Surveillance video shows her car striking a parked vehicle, flipping over onto its roof and clipping an oncoming car. She was charged with a single count of driving under the influence.
Police body camera video also shows Comey failing sobriety tests after the accident.
The day after the crash, House Speaker Matt Ritter, a fellow Democrat, removed Comey from her leadership and committee assignments indefinitely, saying someone could have been seriously hurt and urging Comey to focus on her health.
The accident came nearly two years after Comey was seen stumbling over her words during an evening House debate, prompting lawmakers to stop the proceedings and rush to her aid. Comey later apologized and said the episode was due to several factors including anxiety, exhaustion and wine she drank during dinner.