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article imageMichael Crapo, Mormon Idaho senator, accused of DUI in Virginia

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By Yukio Strachan     Dec 24, 2012 in Crime
Alexandria - A conservative U.S. senator from Idaho, who has said publicly that he doesn't drink alcohol because of his Mormon faith, was arrested in Alexandria, Virginia early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, police said.
According to CNN, Jody Donaldson, an Alexandria police spokesman, said Sen. Michael Crapo (R.-Idaho) was arrested by an officer at 12:45 a.m. ET after the officer noticed Crapo's vehicle running a red light.
"Sen. Crapo was identified as the driver and arrested after failing several field sobriety tests," Donaldson said in a statement. "He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Alexandria Adult Detention Center where he was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond."
Police said Crapo, a three-term Republican with a reputation as a social and fiscal conservative, registered a blood alcohol content of .11 percent. In Virginia, drivers at .08 or higher are considered intoxicated.
The senator was brought to the Alexandria jail and was released on $1,000 bond at around 5 a.m., Crapo's office told CBS News.
Crapo apologized in a statement issued hours after his arrest early Sunday. From Politico:
“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 lawmaker is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church) which teaches its members to abstain from alcohol. "Strong spirits are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies," Church founder Joseph Smith said in 1833.
According to a story in the Associated Press, the Mormon Church urges the setting of public policies that establish "reasonable regulations to limit overconsumption, reduce impaired driving and work to eliminate underage drinking."
In 2010, Crapo helped kill a plan to raise beer and wine taxes to fund drug treatment, fearing it could hurt Mormon farmers that raise barley for Budweiser and Negra Modelo beers, the AP reported at the time.
The 2010 AP story also reported that although Crapo was a Mormon who abstained from alcohol, he wouldn't impose his own religious beliefs on others, especially when it could affect a growing industry.
Crapo is set to appear in court Jan. 4.
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