This morning, the story broke that American Idol finalist and wild card recipient Stefano Langone was arrested last year for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Part of Stefano’s Idol sob story had been the survival of a brutal auto accident that had doctors wondering if he would ever walk again. This accident had occurred as a result of Stefano’s being hit by a drunk driver. Several months after the crash Stefano was arrested for his own DUI — a stunning fact that he had, perhaps understandably, failed to mention on the show. But more details on this story are emerging.
E! Online uncovered the police report for Stefano’s arrest, which shows that the singer was stopped for speeding and changing lanes without signaling in Bellevue, WA. The officer on record wrote that Stefano’s eyes were "bloodshot, watery, [and] droopy [with] dilated pupils." Despite Stefano claiming to only have had one “beer several hours earlier,” the officer gave him a sobriety test, which the Idol singer failed. Stefano was reportedly unable to even recite his ABCs but still insisted he was okay to drive. The officer then gave Stefano a breathalyzer test, for which he blew a .09, well above the .08 legal driving limit in Washington state. Bizarrely, the report mentions that the Idol contestant began singing while being taken to police headquarters.
Stefano was then escorted to a King County jail cell, to be released 8 hours later on $500 bail. At his court hearing, Stefano pled guilty to a reduced charge of “negligent driving” and received a suspended 90-day jail sentence, fined $863, and forced to take a drug-and-alcohol education course.
But perhaps most damning is the fact that this infraction was not Stefano’s first run-in with the law. In 2008, he had been busted on a marijuana drug possession rap, though he lucked out with the case being dismissed.
Stefano has yet to comment on the arrest but tweeted today, "Everything in life happens for a reason, all the events that Iv been thru led up to this moment. Wouldn't change anything! Much love guys!!!"
Wow. We’re pretty sure these arrests aren’t going to jive well with a lot of AmericanIdol voters. We’re hoping that Stefano can put all this behind him and still turn in a great performance.
But we want to know: Will Stefano's DUI bust change the way your vote tonight?