Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo pleads guilty to drunken driving


McClatchy Newspapers

Sen. Mike Crapo, his voice cracking as he admitted “embarrassment and shame,” was fined $250 Friday, had his driver’s license lifted for a year and received a suspended sentence of 180 days in jail on a drunken driving charge.

The Idaho Republican stood quietly with his attorney during the three-minute hearing at the second-floor courtroom in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va.

“I sincerely regret the choice I made,” he said in a statement read before a bank of television cameras on the courthouse steps after the hearing. “I’m grateful, truly grateful, no one was injured.”

Alexandria police stopped Crapo early on the morning of Dec. 23 after he ran a red light. Police said his blood alcohol level at that time was 0.11 percent. A second test at the local jail found the level at 0.14. Virginia deems it a crime to drive with a level of 0.08 or higher.

The three-term senator was charged with 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. Crapo also will have to complete a state Alcohol Safety Action Program.

Afterward, he stood on the courthouse steps and answered questions, explaining in precise terms for the first time what had happened. He said he hadn’t been able to sleep and had been drinking vodka and tonic. He got in his car and drove from his Capitol Hill home to northern Virginia, where police stopped him after he ran the traffic light.

“I ended up in Alexandria,” he said. “I was not with anyone. I was not traveling to see anyone.”

He also said, “I was not in a position to be driving.”

In his statement, Crapo repeatedly apologized for his behavior, noting that he’s a devout Mormon and the religion frowns on alcohol use. He acknowledged that his actions were “at odds with” his church’s beliefs.

He also said he was “profoundly sorry for the pain and embarrassment” he’d brought to his family, his constituents, the Senate and “anyone else who put their trust in me.”

No testimony was given at the hearing, and no witnesses were called.

Crapo, who’s been in the Senate since 1999 and was a member of the House of Representatives before that, has gone about his regular Senate business, voting on New Year’s Day for the fiscal cliff compromise.

Email:; Twitter: @LightmanDavid

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Gina Raimondo, center, greets a woman from the audience as moderator Marion Orr, second from left, looks on following a forum hosted by the Rhode Island Black Business Association in Providence, R.I. on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Six gubernatorial candidates, Republicans Ken Block and Allan Fung, and Democrats Todd Giroux, Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras participated in the forum.

    Governor hopefuls meet in black business forum

    Rhode Island's gubernatorial hopefuls offered their views on immigrant children, racial disparities in employment and the state's new voter identification law at a forum Tuesday night sponsored by an association of minority-owned businesses.

National Security Administration (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. June 6, 2013 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Senate bill would overhaul NSA surveillance

    The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced a bill Tuesday to halt the federal government’s bulk collection of American’s telephone and Internet information.

  • Malloy, Wyman backed by Working Families Party

    Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will appear twice on the November ballot.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category