Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Around the Arctic January 09, 2004 - 1:25 pm

Greenland cabinet minister resigns after drunk driving arrest

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Mikael Petersen, one of Greenland’s most powerful cabinet ministers, has resigned his portfolio after being charged with drunk driving.

Petersen was minister for transportation, industry, trade, energy, labour and tourism, and vice-chair of the Siumut Party.

His resignation came just before Christmas, three days after his arrest.

On the that night, Petersen had been drinking in one of Nuuk’s downtown bars. After he drove away in his own car, somebody called police and tipped them off. A police breathalyzer test showed Petersen had 1.8 ml of alcohol in his blood - an amount several times over the acceptable limit.

“We should, of course, have taken a cab, because I knew that I was drunk,” Petersen admitted.

But he also said, at the time, he was in denial about his condition.

“It’s hard to come to this point [of resigning], because of something that should never have happened,” Petersen said. “But you have to make a decision. It’s because of the laws. We have to respect them.”

Petersen said he planned to enter an alcohol rehabilitation program.

The home rule government’s eligibility committee may decide Peterson has to resign his legislative seat as well.

“It would put a temporary stop in my political life if the parliament decides [that], but still there are a lot of possibilities in life,” Petersen said in an interview on Greenland’s national news program, Qanorooq.

l Petersen, one of Greenland’s most powerful cabinet ministers, has resigned his portfolio after being charged with drunk driving.

Petersen was minister for transportation, industry, trade, energy, labour and tourism, and vice-chair of the Siumut Party.

His resignation came just before Christmas, three days after his arrest.

On the that night, Petersen had been drinking in one of Nuuk’s downtown bars. After he drove away in his own car, somebody called police and tipped them off. A police breathalyzer test showed Petersen had 1.8 ml of alcohol in his blood - an amount several times over the acceptable limit.

“We should, of course, have taken a cab, because I knew that I was drunk,” Petersen admitted.

But he also said, at the time, he was in denial about his condition.

“It’s hard to come to this point [of resigning], because of something that should never have happened,” Petersen said. “But you have to make a decision. It’s because of the laws. We have to respect them.”

Petersen said he planned to enter an alcohol rehabilitation program.

The home rule government’s eligibility committee may decide Peterson has to resign his legislative seat as well.

“It would put a temporary stop in my political life if the parliament decides [that], but still there are a lot of possibilities in life,” Petersen said in an interview on Greenland’s national news program, Qanorooq.

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