Posted in: Commentary,
by Gregg Laskoski on Dec 26, 2012 10:44 AM
When our elected representatives fail to follow the laws that preserve public safety, it's disappointing. But, it reminds us that they're human.
Unfortunately, when they make poor choices in their personal life and behave recklessly, it undermines our confidence in their abilities and decision-making to manage anything.
Idaho's Senator Michael Crapo is the latest member of Congress to behave badly. Police in Alexandria, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC, arrested him after he ran a red light at about 12:45 am on Sunday and also failed field sobriety tests.
Police said the legal limit in Virginia is a blood alcohol content at .08 percent, but Sen. Crapo registered a .11 level.
Sen. Crapo issued a statement Sunday night after he sobered up and he said he's sorry. In Virginia, if anyone registers a blood alcohol level above .08 their driver's license is automatically suspended 7 days. If there's a first-time conviction for DUI, the senator will be on the hook for a minimum $250 fine and license revocation for a year.
Interestingly enough, Crapo also injured his credibility. The senator is a former Mormon bishop and the Mormon church prohibits the use of alcohol. The senator has often declared in interviews with the AP that he abstains from drinking, according to the Associated Press.
Veteran ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson was also charged with drunk driving earlier this month in Lewes, Delaware. His vehicle was weaving and he was unable to keep his car in his lane. He was given a field sobriety test and arrested at the scene. Lewes Police said it is departmental policy not to release the blood alcohol level of the people they charge.
You'd have to think that if Donaldson watched just a fraction of the news coverage ABC has broadcast on the horrific damage that drunk driving causes, something should have kept him from thinking that it's ok to get behind the wheel. Is it hubris? Do these folks think the laws of the land do not apply to them?
For someone in a high profile position with a news organization, this is not the way to build public confidence in what you produce, or, in anything you have to say.
So let's take care of our own. The only thing we can do is lead by example... despite the disappointments around us.