April 6th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Former Congressman has second DWI arrest

(CNN) – Former New York Rep. John Sweeney was arrested early Sunday morning on his second DWI incident in 17 months after refusing to take field sobriety tests, the Saratoga County District Attorney's office confirms to CNN.

"We will treat this prosecution like any other felony DWI case," District Attorney James Murphy said in a statement provided to CNN. "We are fortunate that his alleged conduct did not result in death or serious physical injury to himself or any one else."

In 2007, Sweeney pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge, Murphy also said in the statement.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand defeated Sweeney in 2006 when he sought re-election to represent New York's 20th Congressional District. Gillibrand was recently named by New York Gov. David Paterson to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. The race to replace Gillibrand resulted in a virtual tie and is not likely to be determined until absentee ballots are counted and a possible recount takes place.

Filed under: NY-20
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    If he had a misdemeanor DWI charge, I wonder how come this one is a felony. In most states, once you get your 3rd DUI, then it becomes a felony.

    April 6, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. jacques

    Exactly why he is a former Congressman.

    April 6, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    Two DWI's in 17 mos? There is certainly underlying alcoholism here. He needs help.......

    April 6, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Drunks for Republicans

    Good ... another seat that will for a Democrat to take and another step toward a more peaceful, sustainable future.

    April 6, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Sharon Northern Virginia

    This recount is getting pretty ugly in all around. What is going on in this country with elections?

    April 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Brian - Seattle

    So a former congressman that got a DWI is a story because he was in the same district in 2006 as someone that got appointed to the senate and now has a special election to finish?

    I'm struggling to see the relevance or even why you feel it's necessary to tell us this.

    April 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Tom C in NY

    Nice Republican family values there, eh Congressman Frat Boy?

    April 6, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. The Saving of America by Obama

    He needs to be in rehab ... not the government.

    April 6, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. lt

    who cares?

    April 6, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    My mother worked for him for years and he's a nice guy. But it seems that the last 5 or so years absolutely nothing has gone right for the man. Granted drinking won't solve anything, in his case it seems to make things worse.

    April 6, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Jerry in Keedysville MD

    I agree with Brian from Seattle. Well said Brian.

    April 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. matt

    why should he get help for his alcohal must americans love beer and nobody perfect dems or republicans except them libs

    April 6, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. obama/mama

    He will probably have to do it a third time for action

    April 6, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. JonDie

    Being a senator or a rep is a sweet deal. Some people just can't handle losing.

    April 6, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. ray ray

    @ Tom C – NY,

    When it comes to drinking – Sweeney is a dingy compared to your boy Ted Kennedy – who is the TITANIC.

    April 6, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Baze

    Somebody get this fool off the road for good

    April 6, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Sue

    What, a Republican in trouble? Horrors. Must be a Democratic trap in there somewhere. It couldn't possibly be a Republican who broke a law...twice. I mean, Sarah says even her buddy Stevens is now totally innocent, as is she. And if a Republican says it often enough, God listens, and it must be believed.

    April 6, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. JJ

    He has a personal problem and this is a waste of time reading this.
    He needs help , does not need us to comment on his problem.
    Hope he get help!

    April 6, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. James

    I don't think this is real news. However I pray that he gets help before his drinking and driving kills someone.

    April 6, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Daryl

    It seems this poor chap has taken a terrible stumble. I pray that he gets help.

    April 6, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Albany

    John Sweeney's true colors have shone themselves in the past 3 years. He is finding out that he cannot get away with things that he so easily got away with when he was a Congressman. It scared me for years that a person of his poor character rose so quickly in the political world. The party has long ended John – time to grow up and get yourself to rehab!

    April 6, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Chipster

    "He has a personal problem...." Really? And when it's your family that he kills on the highway, how personal will you believe it is. How many people will he kill before it's public enough? Frankly, I believe a DWI or DUI should result in impounding the vehicle being driven, regardless of who's vehicle it is. Small price to pay for the level of threat this poses to us and our loved ones.

    April 6, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Chipster

    "It seems this poor chap has taken a terrible stumble. I pray that he gets help."

    Yes, and I pray that he gets help or incarcerated before he kills someone.

    April 6, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Patty B

    When are the Rep's going to dump this drunk? He needs help in the worst way.

    April 6, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |