Former ABC Director Speaks To 27NEWSFIRST About Arrest

His job was to enforce the state's alcohol laws, but police say that's not what he did this weekend.

Chris Lilly is out of a job, accepting what he calls a bad decision, which placed him behind bars.

The former ABC Executive director spoke to 27 NEWSFIRST about his drunk driving arrest. Lilly spent only 9 months running the ABC office in Frankfort, but his 27 year career in state government is over due to one decision, one he wants someone else to learn from.

Lilly says it all started when he was watching the UK-Arkansas game with some friends Saturday night.

"I had been with some friends we watched the game," Lilly says.

Some including, Chris Lilly, downed a few drinks during the victory but it's what the Alcoholic Beverage Control's Executive Director did after the game which has him facing charges.

According to a police report a Nicholasville police officer spotted Lilly driving down U.S. 27 with one head light in Jessamine County. When the cop jumped behind the truck he noticed the Lilly was driving slow and weaving between lanes.

"I didn't feel like I was a danger on the road," Lilly said. But police say Lilly blew a point one-eight, twice the legal limit. " I'm just sorry," says Lilly.

He's remorseful for what landed him in the county jail with a DUI charge, a decision which has the entire state watching him.

Lilly says he made the decision to jump in his truck and drive down 27, a decision he regrets. Lilly also adds it's a decision that has nothing to do with the man who appointed him to the position just 9 months ago.

"This has nothing to do with Governor Fletcher. It's unfortunately many things have clouded this and now what's happening here is clouding it too," Lilly says.

The 51 year-old says if anything good can come from this he wants people to know the law applies to everyone. He also says, "don't make a mistake, don't mess up, don't underestimate what can happened to you if you do this, it's hard."

Lilly handed in his resignation verbally effective immediately. When last checked the cabinet was still waiting on that resignation, a resignation the state will accept.

When asked if this is an embarrassment, they had no further comment.
At the time of his arrest, police say Lilly's 15-year-old son was riding with him.

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  • by Ben Location: Lexington on Sep 26, 2007 at 11:42 AM
    Last time I checked, alcohol was a legal substance. Drinking beer is not a crime no matter who you are. Driving when you have had too much beer, that is a crime. Chris Lilly's job as head of ABC was just that, a JOB. He made a bad decision and drove after he had been drinking. I think he realizes what he has done and by resigning his position, he has taken responsibility. He should face the same punishment as any other Joe on the street. Because of the job he held, however, he'll be the brunt of jokes for a long time to come.
  • by PD Location: KY on Sep 26, 2007 at 09:27 AM
    "I didn't feel like I was a danger on the road," Lilly said. I've heard that kind of stuff so many times as I'm taking DUIs to jail. You'd think he could come up with something better than that, considering his position. KY's law does apply to everyone, but even more so does Darwin's law. We may not catch every DUI, but when you wreck, I hope you only kill yourself.
  • by peggy Location: Ky on Sep 25, 2007 at 03:00 PM
    See-so many hypocrites!Why does it surprise us?They're everywhere,from churches to the government,to people we know and deal with on a daily basis.Why cant people just be who they are?Why do people feel the need to put up a front all the time?As for this guy,he should have lost his job and made an example as well.Not cool to drink&drive;let alone have his child in the vehicle with him.However,I agree with his statemnet that we shouldn't blame Mr. Fletcher-how many times has someone we're related to/associated with has done something to embarass and disapoint us and we certainly wouldn't want to be blamed for their screw up.
  • by fed-up Location: central on Sep 25, 2007 at 01:12 PM
    This is not the ffirst time he has driven drunk, only the first time he got caught, with his pull he might of gotten caught before but had it "taken care of". Not the first time for this type of thing. But why should he care, he has worked for the state for 27 years, he'll retire with a $100,000.00 a year pension, pretty nice if you ask me. He can afford to buy a driver when his license gets suspended. As for the 15 year old son, the children have to be 12 or under to make this an aggravated offense. What a loser!
  • by me Location: williamsburg on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:50 PM
    why don't you all move to another state if you think it's only in ky? stop complaining it's not as bad here as other places and if you think it is then move there and shut up about ky
  • by M Location: Lexington on Sep 25, 2007 at 10:41 AM
    If you think this is the first time this man has gotten behind the wheel of a car drunk, think again. This is the first time he got caught. My guess is that it won't be the last time either.
  • by jake Location: richmond on Sep 25, 2007 at 09:44 AM
    I think he did the right thing by stepping down most would blame it on something else and not themselves. The explanation was weak but I am sure he is humiliated. Give him his sentence and let him live with this mistake but if he does it again no pity make an example of him..
  • by mistake Location: lex on Sep 25, 2007 at 06:02 AM
    If you break the law, that is not a mistake (as posted by DD in Stearns). A mistake is maybe putting too much coffee in the coffee pot, writing the wrong word in the crossword puzzle. When you break a LAW, that is not a mistake, especially for someone like this guy who is supposed to be enforcing the same law he broke.
  • by Karen Location: Nicholasville on Sep 25, 2007 at 05:30 AM
    I think that if his son was riding with him, then he should also be charged with endangering the welfare of a minor or something like that. The child was only 15 years old. He should be taken away!
  • by Lisa Location: Stanford on Sep 25, 2007 at 03:33 AM
    If we cannot trust that the higher officals will adhere to what they are supposed to be enforcing, then one doesn't have to wonder why the regular joes are willing to take the chance as well.
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