Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo pleads guilty to DWI charge in Virginia

After pleading guilty to a DUI charge in an Alexandria, Va. court today, Sen. Mike Crapo spoke to reporters, saying he was deeply sorry for any disappointment he caused, and that he will join efforts to curtail drunk driving.
Sen. Mike Crapo speaks after pleading guilty to DUI
Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) spoke to reporters after his court appearance on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, saying he was deeply sorry for any disappointment he caused.
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Senator Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty Friday to driving while intoxicated in an Alexandria, Va., court 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.

Outside of court Crapo apologized and said he had 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 Wash., D.C. apartment. The night of his arrest was the first time he had driven drunk, Crapo said.

Crapo was arrested on December 23 in Alexandria, Va., a suburb of Washington. His blood alcohol was recorded at 0.14 after he was brought to jail, well above the legal limit of 0.08.

Crapo told CBS News that, contrary to earlier reports, he was drinking vodka with tonic water, not straight vodka. He took a drive to "try to wind down," eventually turned around to head home, and was pulled over by police on his way home. He said that he is deeply embarrassed by his "poor choice" and the disappointment it has caused among his family, his constituents, and those who share his Mormon faith.

As long as he remains on good behavior, Crapo won't have to serve a 180-day suspended jail sentence. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of failing to obey a traffic signal.

More on Crimesider
December 24, 2012 - Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo arrested on DUI charge in Virginia