Idaho senator pleads guilty to drunken driving in Virginia

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Idaho Republican Sen. Michael Crapo pleaded guilty today to a charge of driving while intoxicated and then apologized for his actions and asked forgiveness from his constituents.

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

Outside court, though, Crapo gave an apologetic statement where he acknowledged that he been drinking alcohol on occasion for the past year or so, in violation of the tenets of his Mormon faith.

Crapo said he’d been drinking vodka and tonic at his Washington home on Dec. 22, became restless, couldn’t sleep and went out for a drive.

He had been driving for about 30 minutes when he realized he was in no condition to drive and started to return home, he said. It was then that he ran a red light and was pulled over in the D.C. suburb of Alexandria, early on Dec. 23.

Crapo registered a blood alcohol level of 0.11 after his arrest, police said, above the legal limit of 0.08. No mention of his blood alcohol level was made at today’s trial, but a secondary test performed at the jailhouse registered at 0.14, according to a law enforcement official who spoke anonymously.

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

Crapo said he felt like he owed people a full explanation of his behavior.

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