FAA Chief Charged With DWI

Dec 5, 2011 4:07pm

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration has taken a leave of absence after his arrest Saturday night. J. Randolph Babbitt, a former airline pilot, was charged with driving while intoxicated by police in Virginia.

Babbitt was pulled over after an officer on patrol observed a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road, according to a statement from the Fairfax Police Department. Police allege that he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

“Babbitt was the sole occupant of his vehicle, which was not involved in a crash with any other object,” Fairfax police said, adding that he “cooperated fully with the arresting officer.”

In a news release emailed to reporters Monday afternoon, the Department of Transportation said, “DOT officials learned of FAA Administrator Babbitt’s arrest on Saturday night within the last hour. DOT officials are in discussions with legal counsel about Administrator Babbitt’s employment status.”

Babbitt took over as head of the FAA in 2009.

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