Idaho Senator Crapo pleads guilty to drunk driving


McClatchy Newspapers

Sen. Mike Crapo Friday pleaded guilty to drunken driving and was fined $250, had his drivers’ license suspended and sentenced to 180 days in jail, which was suspended.

Crapo stood silently with his attorney during the three-minute hearing at the second floor courtroom in this Washington, D.C. suburb, where was stopped by police on the morning of Dec. 23 after running a red light.

Crapo, R-Idaho, first was recorded with a blood alcohol of 0.11 percent when he was pulled over Dec. 23 in this Washington suburb, according to police. A second test at the local jail found the level at 0.14.

He is charged with a first offense driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and failing to obey a traffic signal. He pleaded guilty to the first charge and the second was dropped.

Judge Becky Moore suspended the jail term, pending good behavior for one year. He will also have to complete a state Alcohol Safety Action Program.

No testimony was given and no witnesses were called. Crapo’s appearance was one of dozens before the court Friday, a routine procedure in such matters.

Police said Crapo was alone when he was stopped; it was unclear where he had been or where he was headed. The Senate at the time had been in recess for days and was not due back in Washington for three more days. Virginia’s strict drunken driving laws could result in Crapo being ordered to attend an alcohol awareness class, installing an ignition interlock device in his car and losing his driver's license for one year.

Crapo is a Mormon who has said he does not use alcohol. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints discourages members from using alcohol.

Crapo quickly apologized after his arrest. “I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” he said. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me.”,

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