Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo likely will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his car after his Virginia DUI arrest.
That wouldnt have been the case in his home state of Idaho. Idaho doesnt require the devices for first-time DUI offenders, but theres a growing chorus of groups saying it should.
Idahos senior senator was stopped for suspected drunken driving in Alexandria, Va., on Dec. 23 after running a red light. He registered a 0.11 blood-alcohol level at the scene and a 0.14 level in a test taken later at the jail.
Seventeen states, including Virginia, require the devices to prevent even first-time convicted drunken drivers from starting their cars while under the influence. An ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the drivers breath reveals the presence of alcohol. Idaho requires the devices only for repeat offenders.
Crapo is a first-time offender who was known as a teetotaler because of his Mormon faith. He has said he doesnt plan to contest the charges. His court date is Friday.
Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board called for all states to require the devices for first-time drunken-driving offenders and sent letters to states including Idaho asking for their response within 90 days. Its time for the other 33 states to step up for safety and require ignition interlocks for all offenders, said Deborah Hersman, the board's chairwoman.
The Idaho Transportation Department is reviewing the letter, spokesman Reed Hollinshead said.