Ever since the boat accident in late August in which Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and two staffers were seriously injured, the congressman has denied that he had been drinking heavily and has maintained that the driver, who was charged with felonies last week, was not impaired either.
Now, a musician who says he saw Rehberg in Lakeside, MT, shortly before the accident, has come forward to say that Rehberg was not drunk.
I have more than 23 years’ experience working with drug-and-alcohol addicted people. Additionally, I worked for more than 10 years at a drug and alcohol treatment center. I am trained to observe and monitor levels of intoxication.
Rehberg was not intoxicated. He did not smell of alcohol, his eyes clear and steady, his verbiage consistent. We spoke shortly before he boarded the boat. His speech was clear and articulate. As he walked down the dock, I observed him. His gait was steady, movements coordinated.
Of course, it’s an open question whether Brick could accurately assess how drunk or sober the 54-year-old congressman was that night.
One of the passengers on the boat told authorities that driver Greg Barkus, a Montana state senator who has been charged with three felonies alleging he was drunk, had two scotches and red wine before going out on the boat.
Rehberg has said he had two beers with dinner, and that his blood alcohol level tested at .05 at the hospital after the crash. He has stood by Barkus, saying that his friend did not seem “impaired,” despite his blood alcohol level of .16, two hours after the crash.
One of Rehberg’s Democratic challengers, Dennis McDonald, has accused the congressman of being blotto the night of the crash, referring to Rehberg and Barkus as “these two drunks.”