Pa. Lawmaker Arrested, Admits To Being Under Influence Of Alcohol

Rep. Joseph Brennan: It Was A Serious Error In Judgment

Published: Aug 16 2011 04:34:54 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 24 2011 09:08:41 AM EDT
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives found himself on the wrong side of the law Wednesday night.

Pa. Rep. Joseph Brennan, D-Northampton County, was arrested just after 7:30 in the 700 block of East Broad Street in Bethlehem for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to a statement released on Brennan's behalf by the House Democratic Caucus, Brennan returned to Bethlehem after the House finished for the day Wednesday.

He said he then drank alcohol and drove to his district office to answer constituent letters and emails.

READ MORE:Lawmaker Admits To Careless Driving

According to Bethlehem Police, several people saw Brennan fall and hit his head while getting out of his car at the Wawa on Stefko Boulevard. Several people came over and helped him up, and he got into his car and drove away.

Police said at that point, another witness followed him and called 911. Police, and an ambulance arrived at his Bethlehem office, where he stopped, and because he hit his head he was taken to St. Luke's. Police said that is when they got a blood sample to determine his blood alcohol content.

In the statement he released, Brennan said he also took a breathalyzer, which he said he failed.

He further stated that he has had "a long and personal struggle with alcohol" for most of his adult life.

"I take full responsibility for this serious mistake and offer my heartfelt apology to my family and my constituents," Brennan said. "I clearly should not have been driving in that condition. It was a serious error in judgment. I am grateful that nobody was injured as a result of the dangerous decision I made."

This was not Brennan's first run-in with the law regarding alcohol and a car. In November, Brennan pleaded guilty to careless driving after he was involved in an accident that injured two people. At the time, police said they found Brennan in a nearby bar after the accident and that he initially denied his involvement.

Brennan holds a leadership position on the state House Liquor Control Committee.

By his request, he was on leave from Thursday's House session.