I think Roger Ebert was out of hand, if only because he has been in the business a loooooooooooooooooong time. He is a old guy in poor health who is mocked by more people for his critic work than listened to at this point (at least out of the people I know). I'm being incredibly cynical, but I think he knew exactly how it sounded.
Honestly, I think he did it because he just made himself extremely relevant. There is no such thing as bad publicity.
For the record, I hate drunk driving. I have no sympathy for tickets ensued, consequences earned, or anything that punished the person responsible. I grieve for the loss of human life, for the friends and family left behind, and for the fans who will miss his presence. I have loved the JA crew since their early days with CKY, and all the people I know who have met any of the member had nothing but positive experiences. I prefer to keep my thoughts and prayers for the loved ones affected than to dwell on a publicity hound who is riding darn close to being an ambulance chaser.