Saying he improperly dealt with his grandmother’s suicide and other personal issues by drinking, Arizona sophomore Ira Lee apologized Thursday evening for his arrest on four DUI charges.
UA police said they pulled over Lee, 20, early Sunday morning after he nearly hit another car and drove the wrong way down a residential street at over 30 mph. After recording blood-alcohol Breathalyzer results of 0.215 and 0.198, and failing most of his field-sobriety tests, Lee was cited for super extreme DUI — for a minimum of 0.20 BAC — and other DUI charges.
Lee apologized to the city of Tucson, his family and UA via Twitter, saying his behavior was “completely out of character and it is a regret I will have to live with the rest of my life.” He said “what failed to be addressed publicly” was that his grandmother died a day beforehand because of suicide.
“Before all of these events I was already emotionally unstable and dealing with different personal issues,” Lee tweeted. “The only person I can blame is myself because I knew how unstable I was and instead of seeking help, I turned to drinking which lead (sic) to a terrible mistake.”
Lee said he is focusing on becoming happy and would “eventually deal with whatever consequences that come my way,” adding that he advises others to seek help from someone if facing issues.
“Self harm is not the answer and it can lead to harming others unintentionally,” Lee wrote. “Once again, I am deeply sorry and I am looking forward to getting back on track.”
Under Arizona DUI laws, super extreme DUI carries a minimum jail time of three days and another nine days on house arrest with a GPS-enabled ankle bracelet. Lee could face a minimum of two days in jail and seven days of house arrest if he is convicted of extreme DUI.
However, several attorneys told the Star that Lee’s charges might be significantly reduced because of circumstances in his situation. Lee was given two-part Breathalyzer tests on two occasions, because police said the first test issued numbers that were beyond the 0.02 maximum differential allowed. The second pair of results taken were 0.017 apart.