Sen. Mike Crapo (R) has represented Idaho in the Senate since 1999, and he's slated to take the top GOP spot on the Senate Banking Committee when the 113th Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The next day, Jan. 4, he has a court date in Alexandria, Va., to face charges relating to his arrest early Sunday for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police says that Crapo — a 61-year-old Mormon who has said previously that he doesn't drink alcohol — ran a red light, failed field sobriety tests, was arrested at 12:45 a.m., and released on a $1,000 bond at about 5 a.m. He was alone in his vehicle, and his blood-alcohol level was 0.11, easily above Virginia's 0.08 limit.
On Sunday, Crapo issued this vaguely worded apology:
As soon as the commentariat got over the fact that there's a senator with the last name Crapo (pronounced KRAY-poh, in case you're wondering), the inevitable jokes started:
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Of course, there could be some serious fallout for the three-term senator. The only thing that sticks to your political career more than getting caught flouting the law is doing it in a way that appears to violate your convictions. With Craig, who publicly opposed gay rights but was arrested on suspicions of soliciting gay sex in an airport lavatory, the arrest effectively ended his Senate career. Other politicians, like Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) — a social conservative implicated as a client of a D.C. prostitution ring in 2007 — have weathered their scandals with minimal disruption to their public-service jobs. For Crapo, the big test will be how his constituents react. "Crapo graudated from Brigham Young University, and served earlier in his life as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," a religion that forbids drinking, says BuzzFeed. And a DUI arrest could spell special trouble in Idaho, "where about a quarter of the population — and a considerable portion of the donor class — consists of Latter-day Saints."
On the other hand, Crapo doesn't face the voters again until 2016, and in 2010 he got an impressive 71 percent of the vote. Still, says Rick Moran at American Thinker, "Getting behind the wheel of a car when there's even a chance you may be legally intoxicated shows very poor judgment."
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