A member of the Democratic leadership team in the Connecticut State House has been stripped of her duties and committee assignments after she rolled her vehicle near the Capitol building in Hartford and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The immediate consequences for state Rep. Robin Comey, who was the Assistant House Majority Whip for the current legislative session, came Thursday evening from Connecticut State House Speaker Matt Ritter (D), the Daily Caller reported.
In addition to being temporarily relieved of her leadership duties, Comey was also temporarily removed from her seats on the Committee on Children, the Education Committee, and the Human Services Committee.
Stripped of all assignments “until further notice”
Local NBC affiliate WVIT reported that Rep. Comey was arrested shortly before 8 pm Thursday evening and was charged with the illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
House Speaker Ritter said in a statement, “This was an extremely dangerous situation and somebody could have been seriously injured, including Rep. Comey. I want to thank Hartford Police for their quick response.”
“My immediate reaction is to think about Rep. Comey’s next steps. I hope she focuses on her health and wellbeing and I know that her friends and colleagues will support her in any way we can,” he added. “In light of the seriousness of this situation, I am immediately removing Rep. Comey from all committee and leadership assignments until further notice.”
Obvious signs of intoxication, failed field sobriety tests
Local media outlet WTNH reported that Rep. Comey overturned her Honda Civic in the middle of Capitol Ave. just a few blocks away from the Capitol building around 7:15 pm.
Witnesses stated that the lawmaker had just left a nearby bar when she sideswiped another vehicle in the opposite lane, ran into a dumpster and hit a parked vehicle before rolling her own car over on its roof.
Per the police incident report, Comey “reeked of alcoholic beverages and could not stay focused when being spoken to.” It was also observed that she had trouble maintaining her balance, her speech was “slow,” and she had a “difficult time forming sentences.”
Comey subsequently failed three separate field sobriety tests and later failed two separate breath sample tests that revealed a blood alcohol content level of 0.1446 and 0.1400, both of which are nearly double the legal limit of 0.08 BAC.
Connecticut’s News12 reported that Rep. Comey said in a statement, “I want to apologize to my constituents, my colleagues in the CT General Assembly, my family and friends for my DUI arrest on Thursday night.”
“After much reflection and with the support of my family, starting today, I will begin treatment to better understand the disease that is addiction and to get the help I recognize I need,” she added. “I am deeply grateful in advance to everyone for giving me the time and support I need.”
The outlet noted that this isn’t the first alcohol-related trouble for Comey, as she appeared to be drunk and unsteady and slurred her words while giving a speech on the House floor in a 2021 incident that earned an admonishment from Speaker Ritter about legislators drinking on the job.
It further appears that nobody is calling for her to resign her seat in the legislature, but Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who supports a proposal to lower the state’s legal BAC level to 0.05, said in a statement, “Don’t drink and drive. We’re going to get very strict on that with some new rules we’re proposing to the legislature.”