Idaho's Crapo says he'd been drinking for a year, expresses contrition, plans to run again

Sen. Mike Crapo said Friday that he began drinking alcohol for the first time in his life in the past year as a way to deal with on-the-job stress. Crapo said he was drinking once or twice a week, always alone in his apartment in Washington, D.C.

When he drove early on the morning of Dec. 23 after having “two to three” vodka tonics, Crapo said it was the first time he’d driven after drinking.

Crapo, R-Idaho, added that he plans to seek reelection to a fourth term in 2016, hopes to earn back the trust of constituents and that his marriage is strong. The 20-year congressional veteran said his family and staff were unaware that he’d taken up drinking.

“Everybody back here is stressed and what I did was a very poor choice on how to deal with that stress,” Crapo told reporters in a conference call from Washington.

"I am swearing off alcohol and I am not going to continue to drink alcohol," he said.

Crapo spoke after his guilty plea for misdemeanor DUI and sentencing Friday morning in Virginia. Crapo's drivers license is suspended for one year, he was ordered to pay a $250 fine and attend alcohol awareness classes for 10 weeks.

To constituents, Crapo said, “Certainly I have to believe it will cause them to be disappointed in my conduct. I don’t blame them. I am disappointed in my conduct. I am embarrassed and I am apologetic. I want to be sure they understand that I accept full responsibility for what I’ve done. I am sorry and I will work to regain the trust that I’ve lost.”

Asked to describe the events that led to his arrest in Alexandria, Va., after running a red light, Crapo said, “I was drinking alone at my home and I got into my car alone. I never got out of my car and I was not going to meet anybody. It was simply a drive of frustration. I couldn’t get to sleep and I made the very poor choice that I would go out and go for a drive.”

Crapo said he didn’t know he was impaired when he got in his car, but turned around after realizing he shouldn’t be driving. “I turned back and that’s when the police officer pulled me over.”

The drive lasted 30 or 40 minutes, he said, and covered “a number of miles.”

"I didn't really feel impaired," he said. "It was when I had been driving a little bit I realized I was getting impaired. And that's when I tried to turn around and return."

Crapo said he couldn’t pinpoint the date he began drinking, but said, “It was within the past year, less than a year.”

He bought alcohol “at the local grocery store or a liquor store nearby.”

Contrary to an earlier report, Crapo said he was not drinking shots of vodka. “I did mix the vodka with tonic water. I was not drinking straight vodka.”

Crapo said his being alone and away from his family shortly before Christmas contributed to his decision to drink that night. Crapo was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23. The Senate adjourned Thursday for the Christmas break.

He said he had scheduled flights Friday night and Sunday morning, but work kept him late Friday and he couldn’t make it to his Idaho Falls home until Sunday. Crapo’s wife, Susan, didn’t move to Washington after Crapo’s first election in 1992, remaining in Idaho Falls to raise the couple's five children.

“So I had a Friday night flight and a Sunday morning flight and I just miscalculated. That’s probably one of the other reasons I was discouraged about being alone in my apartment that night. Because the work Friday night pushed past that flight and then I had to wait until the Sunday morning flight that I had scheduled.”

Crapo said he has apologized to his family and has their support and encouragement.

“I have a strong marriage and my wife and I love each other,” Crapo said. “That’s the extent of what I want to say there.”

He says he plans to run again, which, assuming he is reelected, would extend his congressional career to 30 years, longer than any Idahoan excepting Sen. William Borah.

“That’s four years off, but I fully intend to run again, as long as there are no family or health concerns. And I hope to continue to make a contribution in the United States Senate.”

Crapo is a cancer survivor. His brother, Terry, who served before him in the Idaho Legislature, died of cancer.

Crapo said the driving ban in Virginia also applies in Idaho and Washington, D.C., which have reciprocity agreements.

"I intend not to drive anywhere, period," he said. "I am frankly going to just have to make arrangements to walk to work or to take cabs or to find other ways to get to the places I need to get to."

Crapo said he believes he would have stopped drinking even had he not been arrested for DUI.

"I believe that I would have ended it. I was already thinking in my own mind that this had to end. I don't know how to give you a timetable answer to that, but I believe in my heart that I had already recognized that I was on a bad path and that I needed to find a different path to follow."

Before he took questions, Crapo read the following statement, which he said was identical to the statement he gave outside the Alexandria Courthouse Friday morning:

I have recently made personal choices that are at odds with who I am, who Idahoans rightly believe me to be and who I strive to be. I believe public officials should be held to higher standards, since I have been entrusted by Idahoans to make choices and votes on their behalf. I offer my apologies, ask for your forgiveness for my recent failings and I make a firm commitment that I will strive to regain the trust that I have lost.

As a public servant, I owe Idahoans a full and accurate explanation of my failings. I appreciate the opportunity that I have had in the last few days to privately explain and apologize to my family. I love them deeply and appreciate their encouragement and support in helping me face this situation.

In recent months, and for less than a year, I have on occasion had alcoholic drinks in my apartment in Washington, DC. It was a poor choice to use alcohol to relieve stress—and one at odds with my personally-held religious beliefs. However, on the night of Saturday, December 22nd, I made another even worse decision to go for a drive to get out of my apartment and try to wind down. I left my apartment, driving out past the monuments. I was alone during this drive and never left my vehicle. After driving around for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, I realized what a mistake it had been for me to drive and decided to return to my apartment. I approached a multi-street intersection and mistakenly turned against a red light. It was at that time that the police pulled me over. As has been publicly reported, I cooperated fully with the officer. I failed the field sobriety tests. As you know, I pled guilty and will follow through on the punishment imposed by the court.

As a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is well-known for its standards against consumption of alcohol, I have endeavored for the majority of my life to be an upstanding representative of my faith. My mistake in using alcohol in recent months has therefore brought additional embarrassment and shame to me, my family and other church members who care about me. I will carry through on the appropriate measures for repentance, and I ask all of you for your forgiveness.

I sincerely regret the choice I made for many reasons, especially because tragic consequences can result from drinking and driving. I am truly, truly grateful that no one was injured and, as has been suggested, I will find an opportunity to help further the message: “don’t drink and drive”.

In summary, I am profoundly sorry for the pain and embarrassment that I have brought to my family, to Idahoans, to my church, to my colleagues in the U.S. Senate and my staff, to anyone who has placed their trust in me. I am also deeply appreciative of those who have reached out to me over the last few days with messages of encouragement, support and forgiveness. These words mean more to me and my family than they can ever know. I will work hard to regain the trust of my family and Idahoans.

1357330472 Idaho's Crapo says he'd been drinking for a year, expresses contrition, plans to run again Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Does anyone believe his

Does anyone believe his bullcrap story?

Yes...someone does

Just because you don't, doesn't mean others don't believe him. I don't buy it all, but honestly, he handled better than any other politician has in the last few years. He is human!

The man couldn't even give a

The man couldn't even give a straight answer as to where he purchased the vodka. How you can believe anything he says is beyond me. Wow.


It sounds like he admitted to purchasing it several times, at one place or the other. Not sure that he was being deceptive about where he got it. But I think the rest of the story is pure bull.


The drink of commies?

Then the Dems must be drinking plenty



That story ranks right up there with "I did not have sex with that woman" and "I just take a wide stance".
He must have consulted with John McGee for that excuse.


I did not inhale. LOL!

Time to get rid of the

Time to get rid of the RINO's who voted YES on raising our taxes and get a TRUE conservative voted into his spot!!! Crapo drinking is just one more reason. If ANYTHING, politicians should be held to a HIGHER standard, and not a double standard then those they are suppose to be representing. That goes for both the Socialist left AND the Conservatives Or in this case a RINO. (One who straddles the parties to stay in power)

Raise Taxes?

Crapo (R-ID), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Yea


Or you could live in the streets without a touque...


Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

What stress was there for this incumbent for life?

So Mike was just trying to get sleepy. The vodka wasn't working so Mike thought going for a drive would help make him sleepy. That makes a LOT of sense :-)

I gotta wonder if it was more like Crapo was catchin' a buzz, and wanted a little let's say flesh-stress relief, since the moderator won't allow clearer words. Following the Dick Morris and NY Governor rule, never leave a trail to your "escort" or they'll sell you out. Since ya shouldn't call a hooker to your house, ya gotta go for a drive. Ahh, now THAT makes sense. No cab record, no address shared, that way NO ONE will find out. Opps...the best "layed" plans...


No one ever accused him of going to meet someone, until he implicated himself.

There have been many accusations of him meeting someone

Many of them on this website.

Perhaps Mike was getting his brownie "stress relief" medicine...

Yes, Mike brought that up. and interestingly used the word "nobody". Like Clinton, Mike is a lawyer AND a politician, so his words are always well chosen. Just messin' and guessin', but that would be a way for him to feel like he is coming clean, and look like it. But it is short for "nobody specific" or "nobody important". like how most men view hookers.
But maybe Mike was simply seeking the other legal substance heathens use fo stress relief. Medical brownies are legal in DC and Virginia. (Yes, Virginia! There IS a Santa Claus!)
No doubt I love teasin' Mike here, but I have known him as a stone cold liar for 25 years on the nuclear issues. I doubt he feels any stress or guilt for lying about the fake clean up, nor promising action for downwinders' compensation when all he does is trot out a quiet bill for a photo-op every year. Yah, nuclear power is "safe" and Mike was out for a drive...

Sorry to ruin your theory,

but the only people he meets in secret are lobbyists and the likes to take in personal bribes.

Poor baby

Poor baby just missed his family. It's not his fault he's such a devoted family man that being away drove him to drink...and drive for 40 minutes...

"I never got out of my car and I was not going to meet anybody." Now I think he was looking for some action.

Odd, huh?

Yeah, I thought that was an odd comment to throw in.

Just responding to the many questions/accusations

I didn't think the statement was odd. There have been many questions about where he was going or coming from. That part of his statement addresses those questions.

Boy there is a lot of

Boy there is a lot of speculation with no PROOF to back it up. Why are people so quick to go to the gutter here? This National Inquirer mentality of our society is interesting. We’d rather focus on this stuff than real problems.


if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck... it likely is a duck. And too many ducks in DC is the REAL problem.

You want "proof"? Vodka is 80 proof!

No doubt I went to the gutter because , as I detail above, after 25 years of Crapo lying on "real problems",it is open season on lame ducks...and Mike is quacking me up with his funny lifestyle :-)


So my question is, will the Statesman chase this story like they did the Craig story?

All else being the same, will Popkey go to DC to interview other people to ask if they drank with Mike more than a year ago? Will he accepts calls and requests from every Tom, Rich, and Sally in DC with a story to sell. And then a full 4 page expose from the award-winning Statesman will appear?

Or does the LDS aspect of this story stop that investigation at the door?

Who in the world gets drunk at home and then goes for drive because they couldn't sleep?
I always drink MORE to go to sleep. Works every time.

A map, credit card receipts, phone records and clock would disprove this story I'm sure. But with no civil case or further criminal case it will go down as another DC bulsht story.

Craig voted against rights

Craig voted against rights for gays during his political career at the same time several people were alleging (and had been for many years) that he had relationships or trysts with men in secret. That's hypocrisy. Crapo voted in favor of legislation cutting taxes on small brewers. At least his behavior in private is consistent with his voting record if not his church.

Not necessarily

I would vote for bills against drunk driving cause that's the right thing to do. And I would continue to drink. And maybe I would find myself making the mistake of driving intoxicated. All that doesn't preclude making bills against drunk driving is the right thing to do.

A gay Congressman can vote against same-sex bills based on the merit of the bill. Even a closet gay Congressman can do that- if it is the right thing to do. If your argument has any merit it stands without the story of what Craig was doing in the bathroom or his private space (with his privates).

A politician's personal life does NOT have to extend to their representation of their constituents. And the absence of that does not make hypocrisy.

I completely disagree that

I completely disagree that it is not hypocrisy to be a closeted gay man and promote legislation that is harmful to openly gay people. In fact, I think that is the definition of hypocrisy. Your argument about being against drinking and driving is like comparing apples to oranges. It is a different matter to be hostile to gays while hiding that you are one.

the whole "I couldnt sleep" thing doesnt work.

This whole thing sounds fishy. But its not our business if he was going to see someone or what he was up to. The fact that he got a DUI is our business. He owned up to it and pled guilty so this voter is going to let it go.


It's our business if he's lying.

Looking for a bed mate?

Patrolling for some Southern Comfort on the wild side of Alexandria?

Why no, just out for a drive because I couldn't sleep, Honey.

I like him a little more now for drinking, not driving drunk

Actually, other than getting behind the wheel, he didn't do anything different than most people. Most people drink, Mormons included. It tells me he can't really believe his religious tenets which again I don't hold against him. He's just acting like a politician. They say and do whatever they think will get them reelected and we fools keep voting for the lying, thieving electorate.

I call bogus on his story, which just means he's being true to his political self and will lie till he's caught again.

Too bad this is the system we have when it comes to running our country. Maybe someday, someone will revolt and make it better.

I'm just not going to hold my breath waiting.

Couldn't sleep? Bull!He

Couldn't sleep? Bull!
He was feeling like I do after a few Vodkas...Frisky!

Oh Crappola

Stupid is as stupid does. Hypocrisy would be an understatement.
Let us not forget one of his supporters, upon last check, Jim Risch is the 13th richest of 535 members of Congress according to a Statesman article dated 1 September 2010; rather cozy one could imply.


What Stress?

What stress could there be when all you do is vote NO for everything like every other Repugnant Party Member? Seriously? Him saying he has only been drinking for a year is like Larry Craig saying he is straight.

He sure didn't vote no on

He sure didn't vote no on this last bill to raise our taxes as noted in this thread above! He voted with the Socialist left.

No good.

He dosen't have a clue what stress is. Certainly the answer is not found in the bottom of a Vodka bottle. I'm calling "Bovine Scatology" on his whole press release.

I would like to know, now

I would like to know, now that he has lost his driver's license, how he expects to get to and from work.

Hire a limo

like Idaho officials do when visiting DC. Taxpayer funded, of course.

Carpool, bicycle, taxi, bus...don't seem naive, not the only one


Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

Chart House

"Crapo said he couldn’t pinpoint the date he began drinking, but said, “It was within the past year, less than a year.”"

Not true. He must have forgotten about that glass of wine he had at the Chart House (known as Joe's Crab Shack since 2003).



If he is a drinker, so what. He fits in the Senate well. Just dont drink and drive.

You see Democrats. That is how you do it. Admit guilt and then

ask for forgiveness, and then move on.

If you Dems would humble yourselves and confess sins more often, then even ugly would forgive you.

Thus learn.

Sorry your party got caught


Yea, it sure didn't seem to

Yea, it sure didn't seem to effect Ted Kennedy's career. Oh, wait, I guess its a double standard when your a socialist leftie.

He meant drinking that brand

He meant drinking that brand of Vodka for less than a year.

Must be stressful

saying "NO" more than a parent of a two-year old.

"a drive of frustration"

Love that. I can use it on the golf course as well as tell it to the nice policeman.

What a load of croc.

The chances of a person being arrested for DUI the VERY FIRST TIME they have been drinking and driving is astronomical. Off the chart.
Just ask or read about it from ANY alcohol counselor or law enforcement official.

His Story Reeks of Minimization

2 -3 drinks to get to .14. Not likelly unless power house sized.

Already made the decision to stop drinking???

Went driving while not feeling impaired? What? Just decided it was time to soar with monuments he drove by?

He was somehow to be admired for cooperating with the arresting officer. Gee thanks, Senator.

Every cop in the world has heard "I've only had 2 -3 drinks."

How about another statement on what was causing his drinking. The corruption of Congress? His incongruence with the life he was leading. His family?

The generalization of "frustration" is not acceptable to his constituents. .

Next Election

When Senator Crapo runs for re-election, I will vote against him, as I always have, and this drinking and driving incident will play no part in my decision. Mike is a Republican, and I long ago came to the informed conclusion that members of the GOP simply do not represent the best interests of the majority of the people of this country. I know that puts me out of step with two-thirds of the voters of Idaho, but for those of you who supported him with enthusiasm in the past, I say, find other grounds than this isolated incident to turn your backs on him. There are many, better reasons for doing so.

Yea, sadly our country is

Yea, sadly our country is becoming more socialist isn't it. I can see why you would vote for someone other then a Republican.

He's contagious I believe!

He's made you all drunk with anger and righteousness!


Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.