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DRINKING, DRIVING, AND POLITICIZING:


Originally published 12:00 p.m., May 4, 2006
Updated 2:24 p.m., May 25, 2006

Carpinteria City Councilmember Joe Armendariz was arrested for drunken driving Saturday night after he rolled his Lexus on the side of Sycamore Canyon Road with a half-empty miniature bottle of vodka in the front seat. He sustained minor injuries. Armendariz, 39, subsequently released a written statement apologizing for his lack of judgment and admitting he’s struggled with alcohol; he promised to enroll in a recovery and support program. Armendariz said few people were aware of his drinking problem since it was confined to drinking wine at home and on the weekends. He said he’s tried to stop in the past, but has never been motivated the way he is now. “The last 72 hours have been the worst in my life and the idea of drinking again has about as much appeal as nibbling on poison,” he said. Armendariz expects his executive directorship of the Taxpayers Association and the Santa Barbara Industrial Association to continue.

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