A person who has a problem with alcohol consumption usually knows that he or she has this problem. It is then the person's responsibility--especially if this person is a public official--to get the help that is needed before any outrageous behavior is exhibited. After all, the hard-working taxpayers are the ones who are paying the public officials' salary to do their jobs.
There has long been a link between alcohol and bad decision making by public officials. The jobs of these officials are likely stressful and full of scrutiny, and alcohol is likely often used as a coping method. It is important that public officials recognize if they have a problem and get the appropriate treatment before their integrity is compromised.
Alcoholism and other personal issues can only explain, not excuse poor actions and choices in adults. Public officials are, and know they are, expected to publicly represent a city, state, or group of people in addition to their other tasks. They themselves know that displays of untreated alcoholism wouldn't be acceptable. This is why, very reasonably, no one would admit they have alcoholism during the hiring or election process.
Alcoholism is no excuse for a big public official to get away with irresponsible behavior. They should have to pay for what they have done just like the rest of us normal citizens of this great country. This people need help and they should be put into rehab facilities immediately so that they can contribute to society.