Representative Josh Zepnick Arrested For Drunk Driving

110415-fp-middle-foldRepresentative Josh Zepnick Arrested For Drunk Driving

MILWAUKEE– State Representative Josh Zepnick (D – Milwaukee) was arrested for driving under the influence last week.

Rep. Zepnick was arrested Thursday night in Greenfield. Zepnick told police he had five or six beers. He failed field sobriety tests but refused to take a breath test. When he refused a breathalyzer test, he was arrested.

Greenfield police say Zepnick was pulled over near 68th and Forest Home Ave. for a traffic violation.

Zepnick issued the following statement regarding the incident:

“I believe it is important to be forthcoming and transparent with my constituents about this matter. I am deeply, deeply sorry for the decision I made to drive under the influence.

“I made a critical mistake, and I am embarrassed by my decision. I apologize to my family, constituents, colleagues, and community members for my inexcusable decision to drive. This incident has made me confront the need to seek professional help to overcome problems affecting my judgment.

“My family has learned first-hand through tragedy the dangers and recklessness of drunk driving, which makes my own actions even more irresponsible. I will remain a committed advocate for reforming and strengthening our state’s drunk driving laws. Drunk drivers must be held accountable for their actions, as I expect to be held accountable for mine.”

Zepnick’s is surprising to many because of what happened to his family. Zepnick’s sister was struck and killed by a drunk driver while riding her bicycle in Greenfield in 1990.

The state lawmaker says the death of his sister inspired him to run for public office in an attempt to strengthen Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws.

A single OWI charge in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense — it’s a municipal traffic violation.

Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt released a statement saying on the Greenfield Police Department Facebook page, “A few of us still remember the aftermath of Jamie Lynn Zepnick’s tragic death. Representative Zepnick’s arrest reminds us of the pervasive problem of drunk driving in our State.”

Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said at a news conference that Zepnick genuinely cares about cracking down on drunken driving, and he is seeking treatment following the arrest.

Barca says it’s up to Zepnick as to whether he continue running for the Milwaukee Common Council.

Zepnick was present for Tuesday’s Assembly session.

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