Head of FAA Busted for DWI by Bo Kalabus

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Well, it appears that the head of the Federal Aviation Administration himself might have to experience his administration’s DWI reporting process that I blogged about a few days ago if he is convicted the offense, or if administrative action is taken against his driver’s license.

It’s true, FAA Administrator Jerome Randolph “Randy” Babbitt, 65, was arrested after being spotted driving on the wrong side of Old Lee Highway on December 3, 2011, according to Fairfax City Police.

Babbitt requested to be placed on administrative leave and Department of Transportation officials are in discussions with legal counsel about Babbitt’s employment status, according to an agency statement.

Police pulled Babbitt over in the 3900 block of Old Lee Highway, about nine miles from his home in Reston at about 10:30 p.m. He was driving alone and cooperated with police, authorities said. Babbitt, 65, was taken to the adult detention center, where he was charged before being released on his own recognizance.

Deputy FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will take command of the federal agency, according to a statement from the Department of Transportation early Monday afternoon. The statement said the department had learned of the arrest just an hour earlier. Fairfax City police issued a press release on the arrest Monday morning.

Babbitt was sworn in as the FAA’s 16th administrator in June 2009. He is a veteran pilot and flew for 25 years for Eastern Airlines, according to his official biography.

Babbitt’s arrest information was made public in accordance with a Fairfax City police general order that says the arrest of public officials, including federal officials, for “any criminal charge or serious traffic charge (e.g. driving under the influence, reckless driving)” will be released.

Hopefully, Mr. Babbitt will retain legal counsel to help navigate the criminal arena he now finds himself in and to ensure that he complies with all the FAA reporting requirements to keep his airman’s certificate.


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