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Park commissioner to plead guilty to DUI - Metro US

Park commissioner to plead guilty to DUI

A Vancouver park commissioner plans to plead guilty to three drunk-driving related charges stemming from a May 23 incident when she allegedly fell asleep and crashed into the corner of a house in South Vancouver.

Constance Barnes, daughter of longtime New Democrat MLA Emery Barnes, plans to take a “medical leave” from the park board, but will not resign.

“I don’t know how much I had to drink,” said Barnes at a press conference yesterday. “I had a couple of ciders and made the mistake of getting behind the wheel.

“Nobody was hurt. A corner of a house was hurt and I will take responsibility for that as well, but thank God nobody else was hurt.”

Barnes, who was elected to the parks board in November’s civic election, spent May 23 at Iona Beach in Richmond.

In a statement, Barnes said she was on her way home when she fell asleep and crashed her car into a house. She was arrested at 11 p.m.

Vancouver Const. Lindsey Houghton said Barnes will appear in provincial court on June 29.

She has enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous and said she had never driven drunk before. Barnes added the incident “follows a time of deep personal struggle,” but wouldn’t elaborate.

She waited more than two weeks to come forward and only told her party, Vision Vancouver, on Tuesday.

She said her father would be proud of her for coming forward.

“The way that I was raised is to be honest. This is extremely difficult for me to come out and be truthful, as opposed to trying to hide it away.

“I think at this point my father would say, ‘It’s hit the fan. You need to deal with it. You need to move forward.’”

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