Bailao pleads guilty to driving over legal limit
Paul Johnston , cp24.com
Published Monday, January 28, 2013 5:12PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 28, 2013 8:13PM EST
Toronto City Councillor Ana Bailao has pleaded guilty to driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.
Back in October, the Davenport councillor was charged with having a blood-alcohol level over .80 milligrams and impaired driving when she was pulled over while driving home in Toronto.
At an emotional press conference Monday afternoon, the Ward 18 councillor issued a tearful apology saying that she had let her constituents down.
“I made a bad choice,” she said. “I take full responsibility and I accept the consequences.”
As part of a plea deal that saw the impaired driving charged dropped, Bailao was handed a one-year driving probation and a $1,000 fine, she said.
Bailao said she will not resign from her job with the city.
Bailao was arrested and charged at 2 a.m. on Oct. 16 near Bathurst and Harbord streets. Police had initially pulled her over because she was driving with her vehicle’s headlights turned off.
On Monday, though she did not disclose how many drinks she consumed that night, Bailoa said her blood-alcohol concentration was measured at 0.130.
“I can tell you this situation will never happen again,” she said. “Sometimes you feel in control and one drink is just too many.”
Bailao had initially said that she would fight the charges.
“I intend to plead not guilty and I am confident I will be able to demonstrate that [my colleagues’ and constituents] faith in me is not misplaced,” she said at an October news conference held shortly after the charges were made public.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said that he looked forward to continuing to work with Bailao.
“Coun. Ana Bailao did something wrong and she’s taken full responsibility for her actions,” he said. “I have faith in the justice system and the court’s decision regarding the appropriate consequences.”