Sunday, December 23, 2012

LDS Senator Mike Crapo Fails Field Sobriety Tests, Arrested For DUI In Alexandria, Virginia; Crapo Issues Apology

Update January 4th, 2013: Senator Mike Crapo pleads guilty to misdemeanor DUI, loses license for a year. Crapo also says he consumed vodka tonics rather than vodka shots; the difference seems academic.Updated post HERE.

On December 23rd, 2012, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was arrested in Alexandria, VA for DUI after failing a series of field sobriety tests.

According to Alexandria police, Crapo was observed running a red light, after which he was pulled over at Hume Avenue and Mount Vernon in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria at 12:45 A.M. The officer detected the smell of alcohol on the senator. Crapo then failed a series of field sobriety tests, after which he was arrested. His BAC content has now been revealed to have been .110; Virginia's limit is .08. He was released on an unsecured $1,000 bond, and has a court date scheduled for January 4th. Update December 26th: Crapo reportedly told the arresting officer that he had consumed several vodka tonics several hours prior to being stopped.

Assuming this is his first DUI offense, if Crapo is found guilty, he would be fined a minimum of $250. His driver's license will be revoked for one year, and he'll be required to install an ignition interlock device. In addition, if his BAC was .02 or higher at the time of his arrest, he'll also be required to serve a mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence. It's possible he might be allowed to defer the jail sentence until the Senate is not in session, but he wouldn't be able to evade it. It's also possible that if his BAC had been under the limit, Crapo could have challenged the field sobriety tests used when he appears in court; BobBattleLaw discloses that five field sobriety tests are normally administered by Virginia police officers. These tests, which include nystagmus, standing on one leg, walk and turn, finger to nose, and Rhomberg balance, can be failed by someone who is not DUI.

Sen. Crapo has now issued a statement apologizing for his actions. “I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said. “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.”

The 61-year-old Crapo, who is serving his third term in the U.S. Senate through 2016, is one of four Republicans in the self-named "Gang of Eight", a bipartisan group of senators who came together to work on a budget deal to avoid the upcoming fiscal cliff. Crapo was also expected to become the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee in 2013. Atlantic Wire states that Sen. Crapo is also a bishop in his local ward.

Already, many people on the left are making political hay over the arrest, with some crying out "Hypocrite!" because active Mormons observe the Word of Wisdom prohibition against the consumption of alcohol. But it's not unheard of for a Mormon to get nabbed for DUI; in January 2010, Utah State Senator Sheldon Killpack resigned his seat after being arrested for DUI. Ironically, Killpack had led the legislative effort to toughen Utah's DUI rules.

Mormonism conveys greater protection against sin, but it does not guarantee immunity from the weaknesses of the flesh. We are still down here to learn how to subject the flesh to the spirit, and it requires opposition and occasional failure to learn these lessons effectively.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And he is a bishop, Eagle Scout BYU grad and this time he got caught, I wonder how many times.he's been drunk and not got pulled over