Senator sentenced after pleading guilty to drunk driving

Senator sentenced after pleading guilty to drunk driving
U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho). (Derrick Perkins)

By Melissa Quinn

U.S. Sen. Michael Dean Crapo (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge at Alexandria General District Court Friday morning.

Judge Becky Moore handed Crapo — a first time offender — a suspended 180-day jail sentence and a $250 fine. Crapo also must surrender his license for a year and take part in an alcohol safety program.

City police stopped Crapo after he ran a red light in Del Ray at 12:45 a.m. December 23.  After noticing Crapo’s bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, the arresting officer asked him to take a field sobriety test, which the senator failed.

Crapo’s blood alcohol content was .110 at the time of his arrest, police said.

“I failed,” Crapo told reporters outside of the courthouse after the criminal hearing.

Unable to sleep the night of his arrest, Crapo said he decided to take a drive. After arriving in Alexandria, Crapo said he realized he was not in a condition to drive and was about to head home when police stopped him.

“I offer my apologies and ask for your forgiveness for my recent failings and make a firm commitment that I will strive to redeem that trust again,” Crapo said while recounting the evening.

Crapo also admitted to consuming alcohol several times throughout the past year, though his religion – the Church of Latter Day Saints – forbids imbibing. He blamed stress for the lapse.

“It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress and one at odds with my personally held religious beliefs. … I will carry through on appropriate measures for forgiveness and repentance in my church,” he said.

Crapo, elected to Congress in 1998, said he drank vodka tonics the night of his arrest.