Fossella Convicted of Drunken Driving

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A judge has convicted U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella, R-NY, of drunken driving and will later decide if he should serve time in jail.

Fossella, 43, was arrested just after midnight May 1 in the suburbs outside Washington, leading to revelations he had fathered a child from an extramarital affair. After the scandal, he decided not to seek re-election.

Alexandria General District Court Judge Becky Moore found Fossella guilty and scheduled a Dec. 8 hearing to decide if prosecutors had met the legal requirement for high blood alcohol content, which would mean a mandatory five-day jail sentence.

Fossella testified today that he was rushing to see his sick daughter, a 3-year-old he fathered with an Alexandria woman. The congressman's wife and three other children live in Staten Island.

The officer who stopped Fossella testified he smelled of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot and his lips were stained red. Fossella failed to properly perform four of four field sobriety tests and registered a .157 blood alcohol content, more than twice the legal limit, the office said.

Fossella testified he performed all the sobriety tests properly and had two to three glasses of wine that night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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