November 20, 2017

Sen. Debbie Ingram arrested for DUI

Debbie Ingram

Debbie Ingram

‘I have been getting treatment … I had a temporary setback’

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

State Senator and former Williston Selectboard member Debbie Ingram was arrested last Thursday night after reportedly driving her car off South Road.

Williston Police charged her with driving under the influence of alcohol. She is scheduled to appear in Chittenden County Court on Nov. 2.

Officers William Bouffard and Eric Shepard reported that Ingram, 55, had driven off the road “and struck a fixed object” before going off the road a second time a short distance later. She was arrested about 8 p.m. that night.

Ingram released a statement after police distributed a press release about the incident Friday. She declined to comment further.

“Last night I was arrested near my home in Williston and charged with a DUI,” the statement said. “I am grateful that no one was injured as a result of my irresponsible behavior. I suffer from the disease of alcoholism for which I have been getting treatment through a 12-Step program. I had a temporary setback last night and will continue to seek treatment to ensure that something like this never happens again. I accept full responsibility for the consequences of my actions.”

Ingram, a resident of South Road, served on the selectboard for six years, choosing not to run for a third term earlier this year. She was elected to the Vermont Senate representing Chittenden County last November and is halfway through her first term. She is on the Senate committees on education and health and welfare.

A native of Georgia, Ingram is an ordained minister and executive director of Vermont Interfaith Action, according to her biography filed with the Legislature. Vermont Interfaith Action is a non-profit coalition of congregations that works on issues of social justice in Vermont.

The Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, who is president of the board of directors of Vermont Interfaith Action, released a statement of support for Ingram.

“The board, staff and clergy of Vermont Interfaith Action are grateful that Debbie was not injured, and we all stand by her at this time,” the statement said. “We are prepared to support her in her treatment in any way that we can and realize that any substance use disorder is a challenging and difficult disease from which to recover. Please join us in keeping Debbie in your thoughts and prayers.”

— VTDigger contributed to this report

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