Congressman Vito J. Fossella Faces 5 Days in Prison After DUI
Staten Island Congressional Representative Veto J. Fossella, arrested late Thursday night for driving with a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, faces a mandatory 5 day jail sentence if convicted on all charges.
Fossella was stopped by police after running a red light. The police report of the incident describes the politician as having had a strong alcoholic smell to him, he was given several field sobriety tests, all of which he failed, and reported a 0.133% on a field breathalyzer. He was subsequently arrested, and blew a 0.17% on a more sophisticated and accurate blood alcohol measurement device at the police station.
Fossella apologized to his constituents, saying, "I made a mistake. I recognize it as a mistake and take full responsibility for my actions." He said that he would not resign and congressional office spokespeople stressed that Fossella did not have an alcohol abuse problem, and would not be entering into any form of treatment facility.
Under Virginia law, anyone convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level of greater than 0.15% faces a mandatory 5 days in jail. Fossella faces trial on May 12th on the charges. He has not issued any statement about how he will plead.
The state attorney general for Virginia, Randolph Senegal, would not comment on the specifics of the case other that to mention that with these types of charges, a plea bargain would be unlikely.
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