Personal Statement from Councillor Tim Stevenson
(Councillor Stevenson read the following at a news conference on Monday, July 16th, after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while impaired)
Thank you for coming.
This morning I appeared in court here in Vancouver and pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while impaired.
The incident occurred in May, 2006, as I was driving home from a neighbourhood bar. I'd had three and a half pints of beer over a two to three-hour period while waiting for a friend.
I could have called a cab. I could have walked home. But I made the mistake of getting behind the wheel to drive the eight to 10 blocks home. I was stopped by police on Davie St. and asked to take a breathalyzer. I blew .14, which is over the limit.
I received a summons in July last year and a court date was set for November, 2007. After a great deal of reflection, I decided last week to enter a guilty plea and I have done so.
This is a decision that proved very difficult. I wish now I had made it a long time ago.
I know what happened. I drank, I got behind the wheel, and I tried to drive home. That was wrong.
I think I was in denial - I hoped the entire issue would somehow go away or disappear.
I feel a sense of shame about what happened and had the illusion I might escape the consequences. Perhaps I would have. But that would be wrong, too.
I would like to apologize to my family, my friends, my colleagues and to those who have supported me in my political career and in my church for the disappointment and embarrassment this incident will cause them.
We all know the harm caused by drinking and driving. I am fortunate no one was hurt by my actions. You have my commitment it won't happen again.