The U.S. Transportation Dept. ( ) has accepted Administrator Randy Babbitt’s request for a leave of absence following his arrest in Northern Virginia Saturday for allegedly driving while intoxicated. Deputy Administrator Michael Huerta will serve as acting administrator, DOT says.
DOT adds that officials are in talks with legal counsel about Babbitt’s employment status. The DOT reportedly learned of Babbitt’s arrest Monday afternoon. In a mid-afternoon White House Press conference, spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama also had just learned of the arrest.
Babbitt was arrested in the Washington suburb of Fairfax, Va., local police report. Fairfax city police saw Babbitt driving on the wrong side of the road in the 3900 block of Old Lee Highway in Fairfax, says Sgt. Joe Johnson, City of Fairfax Police public information officer. Babbitt was not involved in an accident. The city of Fairfax does not release blood alcohol levels.
Babbitt was released on personal recognizance and faces a court date. The Washington Post reports Babbitt’s court date could be Feb. 2, although Johnson did not confirm this.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which Babbitt formerly led, said it does not have knowledge of the specifics and is not commenting at this time.