A couple days before Christmas, Idaho Senator Michael Crapo was arrested for drunk driving.
The 61-year-old Senator ran a red light and was arrested after testing for a blood alcohol level of 0.11.
On Friday, a court handed down Crapo's penalties. He received a 180-day jail sentence, one-year license suspension, had to pay a $250 fine, and is required to complete a drunk driving course, reports The Washington Post.
While these penalties sound very severe for a distinguished member of Congress, one should know that the Senator will not actually be spending even a single night in jail. Per the terms of his plea deal, Crapo received a suspended jail sentence, meaning that unless he gets in trouble again, he won't have to go to jail.
And as for his license suspension, Crapo will be eligible to apply for a restricted license. Though the Senator says he has no intentions of driving again this year.
Given the relatively lightness of Crapo's penalties, a cynic may point out that the politician simply got off easy given his political stature.
But that may not be the case. The Senator owned up to his crime immediately and reached a plea deal with prosecutors just days after the crime.
Given that Crapo does not have a history of drunk driving and did not injure anyone or damage anything in his drunk driving incident, the penalty may have actually been par for someone making a plea deal with prosecutors.
The lesson of Senator Michael Crapo for everyday drivers in Washington state is that just because you may face minimum jail terms and possible $5,000 fines even for a first time DUI (RCW 46.61.5055), if you are adequately prepared to defend your DUI, you may avoid jail time altogether and even be acquitted of the alleged crime.
The attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense are here to fight for your rights if you are accused of driving drunk in the Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond areas. We bring years of drunk driving defense experience and can help you work out a defense or favorable plea deal. Call us at 425-284-2000 to schedule your free consultation.