Brewer says DUI in '88 was an 'unfortunate situation'


by Natalie Rivers

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 29 at 10:12 AM

PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer's 1988 DUI incident continued to be talked about and on Thursday gained some national attention just days before the Nov. 2 election.

The DUI stop happened 22 years ago when Brewer was driving home from a dinner with legislators.

Brewer addressed the traffic stop locally and to a nationwide audience while trying to put the issue to rest.

She gave a label to the final week of campaign season, saying it is "silly season". She said it was silly for her to have to address the resurfaced police report detailing her 1988 crash.

In the report, officers said she was drunk. Brewer spent Thursday down-playing the incident and maintaining that she wasn’t drunk.

"You know, I believe I was not impaired that night," she said.

In the police report, officers smelled liquor on Brewer and said she was off-balance. One officer's report said Brewer told him she had a scotch. Another officer said she had  two scotches.

But Thursday Brewer said, "Well ya know, I’ve never drank scotch in my life. If I have a cocktail, it's usually merlot wine.”

Brewer summed up the night in May 1988 by saying, “I had a couple drinks and it was an unfortunate situation.”

Fortunately for Brewer, she was a state senator at the time and in Arizona, legislators are not legally allowed to be arrested when they're in session, so she was driven home instead of to jail.

Brewer said in a statement that she considers DUI a serious issue and said her record shows she supports stiff penalties for drunk drivers.