Update on Idaho Senator Crapo’s DUI arrest

Sen. Crapo's mug shot

Sen. Crapo’s mug shot

It has now been learned that Senator Crapo had a BAC of 0.110, which is greater than 0.08, but not extreme (by way of contrast, the typical DUI in Illinois is 0.17). Here is the link to the Alexandria, VA police department’s press release: http://alexandriava.gov/police/info/news_policedisplay.aspx?id=68136

Idaho U.S. Senator Crapo arrested for DUI in VA

crapoI admit I wasn’t aware that there is a United States senator named Crapo.  That is hard to forget, even if it pronounced Kray-poh.

It is also hard to forget when he is also a Mormon bishop yet also got arrested for a DUI.  So in one night, with one action, he managed to break his covenant with his religion (which bars the consumption of alcohol), his constituents and country (since he vowed to uphold the laws, not break them).

From an Associated Press report in the New York Times:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Idaho U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence in a Washington, D.C., suburb, authorities said.

Police in Alexandria, Va., said Sunday that the Idaho Republican was pulled over after his vehicle ran a red light. Police spokesman Jody Donaldson said Crapo failed field sobriety tests and was arrested at about 12:45 a.m. He was transported to the Alexandria jail and released on an unsecured $1,000 bond at about 5 a.m..

“There was no refusal (to take sobriety tests), no accident, no injuries,” Donaldson said. “Just a traffic stop that resulted in a DUI.”

Donaldson said he didn’t immediately know what Crapo’s blood alcohol level was, where he was coming from or the type of vehicle he was driving.

The 61-year-old Crapo (KRAY’-poh) has a Jan. 4 court date.

“I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said in a statement Sunday night. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter. I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated.”

A Crapo spokesman declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

Currently in his third term, Crapo has been in the Senate since 1998, and served for six years in the U.S. House of Representatives before that. He was easily re-elected in 2010, and won’t have to run again until 2016.

In Congress, Crapo has built a reputation as a staunch social and fiscal conservative. It has been expected he would take over the top Republican spot next year on the Senate Banking Committee. He also serves on the Senate’s budget and finance panels. Crapo was a member of the so-called “Gang of Six” senators that worked in 2011 toward a deficit-reduction deal that was never adopted by Congress.

A Mormon who grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Crapo was named a bishop in the church at age 31. He is an attorney who graduated from Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School. He has five children with his wife, Susan, and three grandchildren.

The Mormon Church prohibits the use of alcohol, as well as caffeine and other mind-altering substances.

The economics of taking a taxi vs. risking a DUI

DUIfieldtestsWith the holidays upon us, I wanted to link to an article put out by MSN Money about the economic costs of being arrested for a DUI (I was consulted for the piece).

In the article, the writer breaks down all the costs of a DUI arrest:  impoundment fees, bond, legal fees, fines, alcohol treatment, court monitoring, higher insurance rates, etc.  They find that a DUI could cost as much as $10,000.  That is not including the value of not having a DUI on your record, including lost job opportunities.

So keep that in mind this holiday season when you are deciding between risking driving home while inebriated versus spending $20 or $30 on a taxi plus the hassle of retrieving your car the next day.

Beauty Queen hits four cars, knocks down light pole and knocks out power, charged with DUI


Sarah_RichardsonA New Mexico beauty queen has resigned her title of Miss Las Cruces after a DUI accident that took down a light pole, resulting in power being knocked out to nearby hotels.

According to KVIA.com:

A Las Cruces beauty queen isn’t smiling because she won the crown.

Sarah J. Richardson’s latest photo shoot was her mug shot after being arrested for aggravated DWI in Las Cruces on Sunday.

Las Cruces police said around 10 p.m. on Sunday, Richardson, 22, crashed her PT Cruiser into a light pole at the intersection of Avenida De Mesilla and Hickory Drive. The pole fell over, hitting a nearby traffic light.

The crash left hundreds of nearby businesses and homes in the dark after the power was knocked out. El Paso Electric said about 1,700 customers were left without power from Sunday night into the early morning hours on Monday.

“You couldn’t see anything except the lights from the cop cars and all the accident,” one witness told ABC-7.

Police said several cars driving through the area got tangled in the fallen wires and debris.

“Power lines were down everywhere. The transformer that was on the corner with the light pole was taken down. They drug them up the street and that was a problem with all the electric,” a witness said.

Nearby hotels were packed with guests in town for New Mexico State University’s commencement ceremony. They were all left without power.

Hotel managers were forced to give out thousands of dollars in refunds.

Some hotels are still working to fix electrical issues from the crash.

Sam Donaldson arrested for DUI in Delaware

donaldsonLongtime ABC news veteran Sam Donaldson has been arrested for a DUI in Delaware, according to Delaware 105.9 radio:

Longtime ABC News anchor and political correspondent Sam Donaldson faces a day in court following his recent arrest in Lewes for DUI.

Police Chief Jeff Horvath tells Delaware 105.9 that an officer pulled Donaldson over on Savannah Road on the evening of December 1st because he had driven onto the shoulder.

The 78-year-old northern Virginia resident failed a field sobriety test, was charged and released.

Horvath adds that Donaldson was cooperative throughout the incident.

Two Seattle cops charged in “seat switching” DUI case

A rare, but not unheard of situation occurs when a drunk passenger switches seats with a drunk driver (usually because the passenger is less drunk than the driver), and then they are both arrested for DUI.  I once represented a couple where this happened.  But this case in Seattle is even more unusual — both people charged were off-duty police officers.  And they were belligerent too.

From the Seattle Times:

Two off-duty Seattle police officers, including one described as extremely combative and foul-mouthed, were arrested for investigation of driving under the influence after they allegedly switched seats in a car believed to be involved in a hit-and-run collision early Monday in the Sodo District.

The case will be referred to the City Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges of hit-and-run and driving under the influence against both officers, who were not identified in redacted police reports.

One of the officers, a female, registered blood-alcohol levels of 0.234 percent and 0.247 percent, above the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to a Seattle police report.

In the course of the testing, she cursed at the arresting officer, acted in an aggressive manner and gave him the middle finger in a North Precinct room equipped with a video camera, the report said.

Twice, the woman, who cried at times, tried to rush the arresting officer, only to be held back by a sergeant, the report said. She told the officer and sergeant she was driving her boyfriend around.

The other officer taken into custody registered blood-alcohol levels of 0.161 and 0.149 percent, according to a second police report.

The incident began when officers responded shortly after midnight Monday to a report of a collision near the intersection of First Avenue South and South Lander Street.

A witness had called police and reported that a woman was driving a Nissan Altima with what a police spokesman later described as having significant front-end damage.

The woman allegedly stopped the car in the middle of the street and switched places with a man in the passenger seat, according to a police statement.

Officers searching the area found the car several blocks south at First Avenue South and South Brandon Street. The car was two to three feet from the curb, with the engine running and “in the roadway,” the statement said.

Officers recognized the two people in the car as off-duty Seattle officers who appeared to have been drinking, according to the statement.

The woman’s speech was slurred and she appeared unsteady with bloodshot, watery eyes, according to the police report describing her actions.

The man, found in the driver’s seat with the engine on, had a strong odor of intoxicants.

He said he had had a couple of beers and didn’t know how the crash happened, the second police report stated.

A captain was called to the scene, along with officers assigned to a “Target Zero” holiday emphasis patrol.

The female officer was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence; the other officer was arrested on suspicion of being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence.

Traffic detectives were investigating whether the car struck a light pole or some other object, said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, the department’s chief spokesman.

Both officers were released after their arrest under ordinary procedures, the department’s statement said. The Altima, which is not a city vehicle, was impounded as part of the investigation.

The case also was referred to the department’s Office of Professional Accountability for an internal investigation.

A few celebrity DUI updates

Here are some updates on previously “celebrity DUI” cases that I have blogged about:

bushduiMatt Bush, the former first overall pick in the MLB draft, was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison for an aggravated DUI involving serious physical injuries.  As I blogged before, Mr. Bush was alleged to have struck a 72 year old motorcyclist, and drove over the man’s head.  Bush then fled the scene.  He later was determined to have a 0.18 blood alcohol concentration.  Bush was released by the Tampa Bay Rays in October.

According to Deadspin.com, Bush and his attorneys were presented with two alternative sentences by prosecutors:  he could choose to serve only three years in prison, but with seven years of probation, or four years in prison without probation.  According to the story, neither Bush (who has a history of alcohol related offenses) or his attorney had faith in his ability to avoid a new offense.  Wow.

jamalFormer Atlanta Falcons’ running back Jamal Anderson had his DUI dropped, and he plead guilty to reckless driving.  He was placed on 12 months probation, ordered to perform 64 hours of community service and pay fines.  Anderson had been arrested in June and has always proclaimed his innocence.

struthers“All in the Family” actress Sally Struthers plead not guilty to her pending OUI case in the State of Maine, and her case has been scheduled for a bench trial on February 13, 2013.  Struthers had denied the allegations against her when she was first arrested in September.

brentThe Cowboys and the NFL have announced that defensive tackle Josh Brent, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the alcohol related death of teammate Jerry Brown, will not be allowed to stand on the sidelines during games.  Brent had been invited to stand on the sidelines by one of his teammates last weekend, without the knowledge of the Cowboys.