After crashing her car and being arrested, State Rep. Robin Comey is apologizing for her actions, saying she will seek help for addiction.
Comey crashed her car in Hartford Thursday and was charged with operating under the influence.
On Saturday, 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. I am deeply grateful in advance to everyone for giving me the time and support I need.”
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The Speaker of the House removed Comey from all committee and leadership assignments until further notice after the crash in Hartford Thursday night.
Comey. 55, of Branford, was arrested just after 7 p.m. Thursday after Hartford police responded to a crash on Capitol Avenue and the police report says she “reeked of alcoholic beverages” and was stumbling.
The Hartford police report says an officer was called to help patrol officers after Comey’s Honda Civic rolled over in the middle of the road and she “reeked of alcoholic beverages,” could not stay focused when she was spoken to and was losing her balance and stumbling to catch herself.
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According to the police report, Comey was smoking a cigarette and signed a form refusing for medical personnel to transport her to a hospital.
When police asked Comey what happened, she said “I don’t know, I was heading home,” according to police.
Officers noted that Comey’s speech was slow and she appeared to have difficulty forming sentences but said she was coming from a restaurant down the street.
When asked what she had for dinner, she said, “I didn’t have anything for dinner,” the police report says.
Comey failed a field sobriety test and was arrested and charged with operating under the influence, according to police.
Police said they conducted breath tests and the first test, done at 8:19 p.m., came back with a blood alcohol content of .1446 and the second one, done at 8:39 p.m., showed a blood alcohol content of .14.
Comey’s license was seized, to be mailed back after the statutory revocation period, according to police.
Residents and business owners near the scene of the crash said it sounded like an explosion.
"It was kind of shocking to see such a major accident and someone just walk away from it like that," Amber Binford, of Hartford, said.
"I saw parts flying, but her car was upside down," Michael James, a business owner, said.
Comey was elected in 2018 to represent the 102nd House District.
"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,” Speaker of the House Matt Ritter said in a statement.
"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,” Ritter added.
"In light of the seriousness of this situation, I am immediately removing Rep. Comey from all committee and leadership assignments until further notice," Ritter said.
Dr. Howard Salinger of Quinnipiac University says this is a good first step.
“That has to be the first step with the acknowledgement of the problem,” Dr. Salinger said.
He says alcohol addiction, along with other substance abuse, is not an uncommon problem across the country. By admitting a problem, he says the road to recovery can begin.
“That leads to whether the treatment is pharmaceutical, which it can be, coupled with in-patient care and everyone’s familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous,” explained Dr. Salinger.
He says he hopes Comey’s message may compel others facing their own struggles to seek help themselves.
“Get the support of their loved ones, their employers so that they can maintain their life role and move forward,” Dr. Salinger added.