Idaho Sen. Crapo pleads guilty to DWI

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of driving while intoxicated and then apologized for his actions and asked forgiveness from his constituents.

The Idaho Republican said nothing during a brief appearance in Alexandria General District Court, where he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and was ordered to pay a $250 fine and complete an alcohol safety program. He also agreed to a 12-month suspension of his driver’s license. The sentence is typical for first-time drunken-driving offenders in Virginia.

Outside of court and in a subsequent conference call with reporters in his home state, Crapo apologized and said he’d been drinking alcohol a few nights a week, in violation of the tenets of his Mormon faith.

Crapo said he tried alcohol for the first time about a year ago, though he couldn’t remember the details. It was a misguided attempt to relieve stress, he said, and he always kept his use of alcohol hidden, drinking alone in his Washington, D.C., apartment. The night of his arrest was the first time he had driven drunk, Crapo said.

“I was already thinking in my own mind that this had to end,” Crapo said. “I believe in my heart that I had already recognized that I was on a bad path and I needed to find a different path to follow.”

Crapo said he drank “several, probably two to three” vodka tonics at his Washington home on the night of Dec. 22 when he became restless, couldn’t sleep and went out for a drive. It wasn’t until he’d already been driving for about 30 minutes that he realized he was in no condition to drive and started to return home, he said. He ran a red light and was pulled over in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, in the early morning hours of Dec. 23.

Crapo failed a field sobriety test and registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 percent after his arrest, police said, above the legal limit of 0.08. No mention of his blood-alcohol level was made in court Friday, but a second test performed after Crapo was brought to the jailhouse registered at 0.14 percent, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the arrest. The official wasn’t authorized to release information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I am grateful, truly grateful, that no one was injured,” Crapo said.

Crapo said he was not with anyone at the time, and was not coming or going from seeing anybody. He was discouraged because a late night of Senate work on a Friday caused him to miss a flight home, forcing him to spend an extra day away from family. His next flight was scheduled for Sunday, the day of his arrest.

His arrest stunned colleagues and constituents alike, not only because of his squeaky-clean image but also because he had said he doesn’t drink, in accordance with his church’s practices.

Crapo said he regretted bringing shame to himself and his faith because of the arrest and he would take the appropriate measures for forgiveness and repentance in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I’m swearing off alcohol and I am not going to continue to drink,” Crapo said. “I fully intend to continue to try to make a contribution in the United States Senate.”

More in Local News

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

Definitely not Christmas in July for parched young trees

“I live in Washington. I should not have to water a Christmas tree,” says one grower. But they did.

Marysville babysitter faces jail time in infant’s death

Medical experts differed over whether it was head trauma or illness that caused the baby to die.

Whether cheers or jeers, DeVos appearance will rouse spirits

Trump’s secretary of education is coming to Bellevue to raise money for a pro-business think tank.

Superior Court judge admits DUI on freeway

Prosecutors recommend a “standard” penalty for Marybeth Dingledy, who “is terribly sorry.”

Self-defense or murder? Trial begins in shooting death

Explanations as to why a man was shot in the back on a Bothell cul-de-sac are starkly different.

Golfers help Pink the Rink

The fundraiser to aid breast cancer research culminates with a Nov. 4 Silvertips game.

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Alliance plans meeting to discuss future of the Everett Station

Key themes are economic development, parking, green space, safety, and transportation connections

Most Read