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

Man shot dead after argument at bar south of Everett

Police say an employee of the bar shot and killed the man, who had opened fire in the parking lot.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

They check tickets, help riders, sometimes get screamed at

13 sheriff’s deputies (so far) patrol Community Transit’s fleet of nearly 300 buses.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Alaska Airlines to announce Paine Field destinations Tuesday

The Snohomish County airport’s passenger terminal is slated to see flights this fall.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Community Health Center opening its seventh clinic

The nonprofit is dedicated to providing care for low-income and uninsured patients.

Gun control debate flares anew in Olympia

A two-hour hearing covered a package of gun-related legislation.

Most Read