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Stevenson apologizes

Gay city councillor Tim Stevenson apologized to city council and the gay community last week for drinking and driving in May 2006.

Stevenson pleaded guilty Jul 16 to driving while impaired, after police stopped him on Davie St last year on his way home from the Pumpjack Pub, where he had consumed three and a half pints of beer over a 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,” he told a press conference two weeks ago.

When police asked him to take a breathalyzer test on the scene, Stevenson says he blew .14. The legal limit is .08.

Stevenson was supposed to appear in court this November to face his charge, but voluntarily went to court early to plead guilty and accept his punishment. He was fined $690 and his driver’s licence is now suspended for a year.

“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,” he told reporters.

“I wish now I had apologized a year ago for the serious error in judgment I made of trying to drive home while impaired,” he reiterated to city council, Jul 25. “I felt such a sense of personal shame and embarrassment that I waited until this time to publicly disclose the incident. That was a mistake.”

Stevenson told council he has a “profound respect” for the institution, as well as the office of the mayor, and hopes his actions do not “reflect poorly on them.”

He later told Xtra West that he apologizes to the gay community as well, and hopes his actions don’t reflect poorly on the community, either.

“Obviously this has been a difficult week for my family, friends, colleagues and supporters,” he told council. “But I wanted to say at the earliest opportunity to the Chamber not only that I’m sorry, but that it will never happen again.”