By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – State Rep. Dan Pabon cried asking for forgiveness in a rare personal statement on the floor of the state House on Monday.
“I sincerely apologize to my wife and kids, my family,” Pabon said in a prepared statement. “I will work tirelessly to restore your confidence in me.”
Pabon, D-Denver, was arrested before midnight on St. Patrick’s Day when officers saw him make an illegal turn at West Colfax Avenue and Glenarm Place. Officers said Pabon struggled to stand and was slurring his words. Pabon says if toxicology results prove he was over the legal limit, he will plead guilty to drunk driving.
Pabon told reporters he had attended a legislative function at the Governor’s Mansion for craft, beer, wine and spirits where he had a drink and then met with friends at Sam’s No. 3 in downtown Denver where he had four to five beers over the course of “several” hours.
“My conduct carries a lot of consequences, legal and professional, and I’m prepared to accept that,” he said.
Pabon calls his DUI a “lapse in judgement.” When asked, Pabon was emphatic to say he had never gotten behind the wheel impaired before. He said he does not have a drinking problem.
The incident is highly embarrassing and poorly timed for the second-highest ranking Democrat in the House. On Tuesday Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign stricter DUI enforcements into law that were sponsored by Pabon. The representative was unsure if he would be standing with the governor at the signing.
“It’s not lost on me that I’ve spent most of my career publically advocating for stricter public safety measures on drinking and driving,” Pabon said. “Now these bills are going to apply to me as they should.”
Pabon says he will not resign from the Legislature or relinquish his position in the leadership unless he is asked to. He says he still plans to run for re-election.