© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

FAA Administrator Charged With DWI

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration, who among other duties is in charge of the nation's air traffic controllers, was charged with driving while intoxicated Saturday night in Fairfax, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

And Federal News Radio says Jerome "Randy" Babbitt has now been "placed on a leave of absence." The Associated Press reports that the leave was "at Babbitt's request."

From the police department that made the arrest:

"City of Fairfax Police have charged the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration with driving while intoxicated. Jerome Randolph Babbitt, 65, ... was arrested on Saturday, December 3. About 10:30 PM an officer on patrol observed a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road in the 3900 block of Old Lee Highway and initiated a traffic stop.

"After it was determined that he was under the influence of alcohol, Babbitt was transported to the Adult Detention Center where a magistrate issued a warrant for driving while intoxicated (Section 18.2-266 of the Code of Virginia). He was placed on a personal recognizance bond.

"Babbitt was the sole occupant of his vehicle, which was not involved in a crash with any other object. He cooperated fully with the arresting officer.

"This information is released in accordance with the provision of the City of Fairfax Police Department General Order on public information which states that 'the arrest of any City or school system official or employee, any elected or appointed local, state or federal government official, or any local, state or federal law enforcement officer for any criminal charge or serious traffic charge (e.g., driving under the influence, reckless driving)' will be released."

According to The Washington Post, "Babbitt faces a Feb. 2 court appearance, said Sgt. Joe Johnson, a Fairfax City police spokesman. Fairfax Police do not release the blood-alcohol level of those charged, or the results of roadside sobriety tests, said Johnson. State law defines DWI as a .08 blood alcohol concentration."

Babbitt has been in charge at the FAA since June 2009. He's a pilot — having flown for Eastern Airlines for 25 years.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.