As reported in the Marin IJ, Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly was arrested by police on December 20th, at this home for a DUI hit and run. The Marin IJ plays down the gravity of what transpired and wants us to feel sorry for Mr. Connolly's problems.
Unfortunately, this ignores the facts.
Damon Connolly was drunk, crashed his car, drove home and never contacted the authorities, we have to assume, because he thought he'd get away with it.
In doing what he did, Mr. Connolly committed four separate illegal acts. In the state of California:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal;
- The destruction of public property (what he crashed into) is illegal;
- Leaving the scene of an accident is a "hit and run" misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances; and
- Not reporting this kind of accident to the police is illegal.
How is this okay? How does it make it okay just because he "apologized" to his family? How about apologizing to the public? How is Connolly's characterizing his law breaking as just "poor judgment," enough? And would he have ever called the police if they hadn't come to his door and confronted him? It seems doubtful (I assume he owns a cell phone, so he could have called them at any point in the ordeal).
The IJ reports that his blood alcohol level was tested as high as .12. According to the Alcohol Help Center,
If your BAC is between 0.10 and 0.125 your speech will be slurred and your balance, vision, reactions time and hearing will be impaired. Your motor coordination will also be significantly impaired and you'll have a loss of good judgment.
But Connolly's alcohol level was apparently tested some time after the incident. The body metabolizes alcohol fairly quickly, so unless you are tested at the time of the crash, it can be very deceptive. And if his BAC was .12 later, it could have been twice that amount at the time of the accident.
So how drunk was Damon Connolly when he crashed his car?
I guarantee you that if this happened to a poor person of color, they would have locked him or her up and thrown away the key.
Damon Connolly's actions are disgraceful and his excuses are self-serving and ridiculous, particularly for someone who used to be deputy attorney general.
He should resign, not because he was DUI, but because he tried to get away with it by not reporting it.