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Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb charged with DWI on New Year's Eve

Talk about starting the year off on the wrong foot.

New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb was arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge on New Year's Eve in Ontario County.

"Last night, I was charged with driving under the influence near my home," Kolb, R-Canandaigua, said Wednesday in a statement. "This was a terrible lapse in judgment, one I have urged others not to make, and I take full responsibility for it."

The arrest occurred after Kolb was involved in a property damage accident at 7980 County Route 41 in Victor on Tuesday evening. No one was injured in the crash.

Deputies took Kolb into custody and issued him tickets for unsafe and driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content over .08%, according to the Ontario County Sheriff's Office.

"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," Kolb said in his statement. "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 has served as the Assembly's top Republican leader since 2009. He was first elected in 2000 to represent the 131st Assembly District in the Finger Lakes region.

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On Dec. 20, Kolb posted a message on his Assembly website urging New Yorkers not to drink and drive.

"There is no excuse for impaired driving," Kolb wrote.

"As we prepare to revel in the upcoming holiday celebrations, it is especially important to remember to do so safely. Many of our holiday traditions, especially our New Year’s Eve celebrations, involve indulging in spirits. Done safely, and in moderation, these can be wonderful holiday experiences. However, tragedy can be only one bad decision away."

One of Kolb's fellow Republicans in the Assembly called on Kolb to step down as minority leader following the arrest. Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor of East Fishkill said "that he hasn't done so already is a disgrace."

Kolb announced he would seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2018, but he dropped out of the race after a few months. Kolb has run unopposed for re-election to the Assembly in his last five campaigns.


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