"Oh Crap! Mormon Senator Arrest for DUI." The headline reads straight out of the Onion. Unfortunately its the latest news out of our nation's capital. Just when it seemed that congressional leadership in Washington could not get any more dysfunctional, a senior Republican senator has become the latest high profile elected official to be embroiled in a public scandal involving the abuse of alcohol.
Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol Sunday morning in the Washington D.C. suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. After running a red light, the senator was arrested and charged with a DUI after "failing multiple field sobriety tests" and registering a BAC of .11, above Virginia's legal level of .08. Adding to the senator's embarrassment is the fact that he is a well regarded champion of socially conservative causes and a practicing Mormon who has been widely quoted in newspapers as one who abstains from alcohol, according to the Chicago Tribune.
As a member of the powerful Senate Banking Committee and one of "the gang of six" senators who attempted to formulate a bi-partisan deficit reduction deal in 2011, Sen. Crapo seemed well-positioned to be one of the key figures involved in any compromise reached to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. A product of BYU and Harvard Law, Senator Crapo has apologized for his mistake and has indicated a willingness to accept "whatever penalties come" his way. For now Senator Crapo's status remains unclear.
Fortunately this DUI incident left nobody hurt or killed, outside of Senator Crapo's reputation.