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Councilman Jared Brossett faces DWI charge after police find him asleep at the wheel

This is not the first time the city councilman has faced charges for drinking behind the wheel. In 2020, he went to rehab after pleading guilty to the same charge.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans City Councilman Jared Brossett has been arrested for a second time on a charge of driving under the influence, jail records show. 

According to a police report, officers found Brossett after they were flagged down by somebody at the Brother's Express Food Mart around 2:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of Elysian Fields Avenue. 

That market is about six blocks away from where he was arrested in 2020. 

According to a statement from the New Orleans Police Department, officers discovered the councilman "passed out behind the wheel," and had to be removed from the car by officers. The vehicle's engine was still running at the time.

Brossett reportedly refused to take any field sobriety tests, but NOPD officers noted that he smelled strongly of alcohol, and NOPD's DWI unit was called to the scene. 

Brossett was booked on a charge of driving while intoxicated on Monday morning, according to Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office records.

Sources tell Eyewitness News that Brossett was seen drinking at a Zulu barbecue on Sunday.

This is not the first time the city councilman has faced charges for drinking behind the wheel. In 2020, he went to rehab after being arrested on the same charge. 

In a June interview with WWL-TV, Brossett apologized for the arrest and for his behavior, saying he had recovered. 

“I’ve apologized to my constituents and to the citizens. I’ve approached it head-on. Look, I’m a better man today,” Brossett said.

In that case, Brossett was arrested after crashing his city-owned car into an SUV.

Earlier this year, the City Council placed more restrictions and increased penalties for violations of its take-home policy for city-issued vehicles. As part of his agreement with the district attorney’s office, Brossett will also have to reimburse the city for the SUV that was destroyed in last summer’s crash. 

To avoid the case being prosecuted, Brossett entered a diversion program. It's unclear how the new arrest will affect his agreement regarding the previous charge. 

He was also arrested and booked with DWI in Florida in 2006.

Brossett’s attorney said the councilman posted a $3,500 bond and is now out of jail.

Brossett is running for an at-large city council seat against fellow council member Kristin Palmer. Both recently endorsed each other in the race. The unusual move was done in an attempt to starve the vote share of former State Sen. JP Morrell, who is also running for the seat.

Council President Helena Moreno and Vice President Donna Glapion released a joint statement on Monday calling Brosseett's latest arrest a "very sad situation."

"We hope that our friend and colleague takes the necessary steps to make himself well. Alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such," the statement said.

The statement added that the arrest will not delay the council's work regarding the budget schedule and any budget timelines.

Brossett is set to make his first appearance in court on Tuesday morning. Second offense DWI carries up to a six-month prison sentence and a mandatory 48 hours in jail if convicted.

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