US Sen. Crapo Arrested for DUI; Mormon Republican Faces Fallout

U.S. Senator Michael Crapo was arrested for drunk driving in Alexandria, Virginia, authorities said. The Republican senator from Idaho was taken into custody after failing several sobriety tests; he was released on $1,000 bail.

After the incident, Crapo, who is Mormon, issued a public apology to his "family, Idaho constituents and any other who have put their trust in me. I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance. I made a mistake … 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."

It's a serious offense for anyone, let alone a senator and former Mormon bishop. The Mormon tradition forbids drinking alcohol, coffee, tea and other beverages, and has strict rules against doing so. The New York Times noted that Crapo previously told the Associated Press that he "abstains from drinking alcohol."

BuzzFeed reported that Crapo "graduated from Brigham Young University and served earlier in his life as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A Mormon whose religion forbids drinking, Crapo could face additional fallout in his home state, where about a quarter of the population – and a considerable portion of the donor class – consists of Latter-day Saints."

His Mormon constituents are not likely to forget this incident or look favorably upon Crapo's behavior. Fortunately, the Mormon Church also teaches forgiveness, which could help Crapo move on in light of his arrest. He did not resist any of the officers' tests or arrest.

"There was no refusal (to take blood alcohol tests), no accident, no injuries," police spokesman Jody Donaldson told the New York Times. "Just a traffic stop that resulted in a DUI."

Crapo is a 3-term Republican Senator who has represented Idaho since 1998. According to The Times, he was "expected to take over the top Republican spot next year on the Senate Banking Committee." Before serving in the Senate, Crapo served a 6-year term in the House of Representatives.