Thursday, January 31, 2008

Turning a new leaf

Washington Councilman Matt Staniszewski has been sentenced to jail for his repeated DUI offenses, and while some small part of me feels sorry for the guy and what he’s going through, he really has no one else to blame but himself. Staniszewski is no longer of an age at which he can use the get-out-of-jail-free card we sometimes dispense to young people who make a mistake in their lives. Hey, I got a DUI when I was a young guy serving in the military and admittedly made some very poor decisions at that point in my life. Many of us were pretty stupid as teens and early 20-somethings. But the councilman, who in general seems light a bright and personable guy, made the same mistake over and over. You could argue that he has an alcohol problem that overwhelmed him and caused him to make bad decisions. But if he wanted to drink to excess, couldn’t he have done it in the privacy of his own home and not gotten behind the wheel of a car? Or gotten someone else to drive? The law may or may not require that Staniszewski resign his post, and Staniszewski is probably right when he says Mayor Sonny Spossey’s bid to push him out has some political element, but for the good of the councilman and the city, it’s probably best that he quit his elected post and get his life back in order. I wish him well.



Blogger PRIguy said...

In my opinion using the phrase, "Sorry. I was drunk." should be used only for occasions like spilling your drink or the accidental vomiting on someone's carpet, or maybe even insulting someone you didn't mean to insult.

Being a legislator or a councilman carries with it a responsibility to carry yourself with some decorum and at the very least, you should obey the law. I don't understand how someone like this councilman opted to drive when he easily could have gotten a ride from someone. It's like Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan driving drunk. Can't they afford a chauffeur? And why would they knowingly get as hammered as they do and then drive...fully aware that every flip of their hair, every cigarette butt they toss out the window, every move they make is being documented by a photographer hoping to sell out these celebrities as soon as they can?

The councilman should resign his post, get some help for his addiction, and then come back for another shot at city council. America is a forgiving country. But it goes only so far.

February 5, 2008 at 7:43 PM  

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