TORONTO, Ont. – Coun. Ana Bailao has pleaded guilty to driving with a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams as part of a plea deal that saw an impaired driving charge dropped.
Bailao, who entered her plea Monday, will be prohibited from driving for a year and must pay a $1,000 fine.
“I made a bad choice,” she said while wiping tears from her eyes at a news conference. “I take full responsibility for that and I accept the consequences.”
“I do not and have never condoned drinking and driving and this situation has made me intimately aware of the dangers this behaviour can cause. For the hurt and offense I have caused others, I sincerely apologize.”
She came to the decision against the advice of her lawyer.
“On a political level, it’ll pay off for her because now she can put this behind her,” councillor Joe Mihevc told CityNews. “Ethically and morally, she’s doing the right thing.”
The Ward 18 Davenport councillor was charged with impaired driving and having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams after being stopped by police near Bathurst and Harbord streets on Oct. 16, 2012.
She was driving without her headlights on while returning from the Mayor’s Ball for the Arts at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Bailao, 36, was first elected to office on Oct. 10, 2010, replacing former councillor Adam Giambrone.
She sits on several committees and agencies and headed a task force that saved many Toronto Community Housing properties slated for sale and has continued to serve on council since she was charged.