Yukon MLA Darius Elias admits he has an alcohol problem
Darius Elias, the MLA for VuntutGwitchin, says he will seek professional help for alcoholism.
On the last day of the spring session of the Yukon legislative assembly, May 15, Elias was pulled over by Whitehorse RCMP.
He was issued a ticket for using a cellphone while driving and also charged with refusing to take a breathalyzer test during a traffic stop.
On Wednesday, Elias met the media and read a short statement.
"I have a problem with alcohol consumption," he said.
"It was difficult for me to admit it. But this incident has made me realize that I can't deal with this problem alone. That's why I'll be seeking help."
Elias sits as a Yukon Party backbencher for the community of Old Crow. He was elected as a Liberal in 2011, left the party to sit as an independent in 2012, and then joined the Yukon Party in 2013.
Elias vowed to stay in his role as MLA.
"I know that I have let a lot of people down and lost some credibility here," Elias added. "I'm going to redeem myself to people who placed their trust in me."
In accordance with Yukon's Motor Vehicles Act, Elias has had his licence suspended for 90 days.
Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski says his party will support Elias, who will remain a member of the Yukon Party caucus.
"The key thing is that Darius is ready to seek help," Pasloski said.
"He is a strong MLA for his community. We recognize his strengths and his value as an MLA and as part of our caucus. This doesn't make him immune to problems. People can and do make mistakes."
Elias plans to proceed through the court system "as any other individual would."