An Oklahoma City councilman arrested early Thursday on a drunken-driving complaint said he regrets the incident. Ward 7 Councilman Skip Kelly, who recently won re-election unopposed, was pulled over by Oklahoma City police after someone called 911 about 2:30 a.m. to report a drunken driver. "I regret that this unfortunate incident has occurred and the difficulty it has caused my family and my constituents,” Kelly said. "At this time I can’t say anything else. We’ll just let it go through the process.” Police released a recording of the 911 call, which came from a motorist who said he noticed a car stopped in the middle of Interstate 35 and followed the car to a gas station at NE 36 and Interstate 35. The caller followed the driver north on Interstate 35 after he left the gas station. "He’s going to kill somebody,” the caller told dispatchers. The caller said the drunken driver was going 90 mph on the interstate and was "all over the road.” Oklahoma City Police Capt. Steve McCool said an officer responding to the 911 call saw a car matching the caller’s description straddling lane lines as it exited Interstate 35 at Britton Road. "The officer initiated a traffic stop, made contact with the driver and after that contact determined there was enough probable cause to believe driver was driving under the influence,” McCool said. Kelly was booked into the Oklahoma County jail on a complaint of driving under the influence, McCool said. He refused to take a breathalyzer test. He spent about four hours in jail before being released about 9 a.m., said Mark Myers, a spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department.
Other council members saddenedKelly is well-liked by his peers on the city council, many of whom said they were saddened by his arrest and would wait to comment until they knew more about the incident. "It’s very early in what could be a lengthy legal process, and I’m willing to let that process play out,” Mayor Mick Cornett said. Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee said he has spent a lot of time with Kelly since he first took office in January 2008. "I hold Skip Kelly as a friend,” McAtee said. "As his friend, I intend to stand by him and be of whatever assistance I can be as he works through this. I’m hurt that it happened to him, and I’m hurt for his family.” Kelly was elected to the council to fill the last year in the term of Willa Johnson, who resigned after being elected an Oklahoma County Commissioner. He won his first full term on the council this month. He was unopposed in Ward 7, a historically hotly contested council seat. City Clerk Frances Kersey said the city charter does not contain any provision regarding council members charged with or convicted of misdemeanors. No charges were filed in the incident as of Thursday afternoon.
Kelly spoke out for alcohol lawKelly is a civil and criminal defense attorney who has defended people charged with DUI. According to a database of Oklahoma court records, Kelly has multiple speeding tickets over the past 15 years, but has no criminal record and no arrests for driving under the influence. Johnson said Kelly should know better, as an attorney. "Hopefully he can get this behind him without affecting his work,” Johnson said. "It’s sad for this to happen to anybody, especially Skip Kelly.” Kelly was a leading voice earlier this month as the council passed a social host law, which punishes adults who host parties where minors are served alcohol. Kelly chastised state lawmakers for failing to pass a similar law. "It’s a shame that our state Legislature, Republican and Democrats, can not see the clear message out there that these children are getting involved in drinking at an early age and much of it is being provided in the homes by the parents introducing them to alcoholic beverages,” Kelly said at an April 1 council meeting. "Ultimately, somebody is going to get killed.”