Earlier this month, Texas State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez was arrested after allegedly driving while intoxicated. According to the police report, the arrest took place after Gonzalez was involved in an accident with another vehicle. The police reports that Gonzalez not only failed the field sobriety test but the breathalyzer test as well and was charged with a DWI.

But despite the negative press that has been swirling around the recently-elected state representative, there is no doubting that the circumstances surrounding the incident have affected Gonzalez in a deep, regretful way.

A few days ago she wanted her colleagues to know about her guilt and possibly ask for their forgiveness as well. After seeking special permission to speak in front of her colleagues, Gonzalez expressed her deepest regrets for her actions, making it clear that she made a mistake and pledged never to do it again.

Although Gonzalez is not the first state lawmaker to have faced criminal charges while in office, her apology to the Legislature is considered less common. It was a sentiment that her colleagues appreciated considerably, many of whom applauded and hugged her after her speech. Critics such as the Texas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving were less impressed, saying that they felt that the applauds and hugs after the speech sent the message that Gonzalez was a victim rather than negligent.

Readers of our blog know that drunk driving is an issue in our state that can carry serious consequences. But as some would point out, there are always two sides to every story. Gonzalez's apology shows that not all instances of negligent driving have malice behind them and that it's not just the victims of the accident who can be sorry it happened.

Source: KVIA news, "State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez apologizes on House floor for her DWI arrest," March 18, 2013