Updated: 3:50 p.m.
State Rep. Joseph Brennan, who represents South Bethlehem and other parts of Lehigh and Northampton counties, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol on Wednesday night, Bethlehem Police said.
Brennan, 47, who lives in Fountain Hill, was stopped and detained by city police at a little after 7:30 p.m.
According to the department’s daily media release, the stop was made at the Wawa convenience store at 741 E. Broad St. In a statement issued by Brennan’s office, the representative said he was stopped outside of his office at 7 W. Fourth St.
No other details were currently available from police.
“When the House finished its business Wednesday afternoon, I returned to Bethlehem. I consumed alcohol and then drove in my personal vehicle to my district office intending to answer some constituent letters and e-mails,” Brennan said.
“I was approached by Bethlehem police outside my office on suspicion of DUI and consented to both a breath test and blood test, which confirmed a BAC over the legal limit.”
The representative was contrite in his statement, in which he acknowledged a “long and personal struggle with alcohol.”
“I take full responsibility for this serious mistake and offer my heartfelt apology to my family and my constituents,” Brennan said. “I clearly should not have been driving in that condition. It was a serious error in judgment. I am grateful that nobody was injured as a result of the dangerous decision I made.”
A Democrat from the 133rd District, Brennan has served as a member of the state House of Representatives since 2006 and was re-elected in November to his third term.
Prior to that, he served as a legislative aide to state Rep. T.J. Rooney when he was the representative from the same district. Brennan also served on Northampton County Council from 1998-2002.
Brennan has had previous brushes with the law. In November, for example, he was cited for careless driving after causing a four-car crash on E. Third Street in the city. When police arrived, according to this report, he was found inside a bar near where the accident occurred.
“I’ve had a long and personal struggle with alcohol throughout my adult life,” Brennan said. “I am working toward recovery and will do my best to prevent another mistake like this.
“I deeply regret yesterday’s incident and will fully cooperate as the matter is handled through the normal procedures of the legal system.”
Brennan said he is “on leave” from today’s state House session, but continues “working on budget and education-related issues and to meet my responsibilities as an elected official to the people I represent in the 133rd District.”