Video: Todd's First Read

updated 3/24/2008 12:51:49 PM ET 2008-03-24T16:51:49

A senior adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has agreed to plead guilty to drunken driving after the arresting officer was ordered to Iraq, making a trial on a more serious charge impossible, police said Monday.

Under the plea, Sidney Blumenthal, a journalist and former White House adviser to ex-President Bill Clinton, will lose his right to drive for 16 months.

Now an unpaid adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign, Blumenthal, 59, was arrested Jan. 7, the day before the New Hampshire primary, and charged with aggravated drunken driving. Police said Blumenthal was traveling 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The case had been set for trial last week, but Blumenthal has agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of driving while intoxicated with enhanced penalties, Nashua police Capt. Peter Segal said.

In addition to the suspended license, he will pay a $750 fine plus a 20 percent penalty fee assessed by the court when he is sentenced April 18 in Nashua District Court, Segal said.

Blumenthal also will be required to undergo an alcohol intervention program, which he can do in Washington.

The plea deal was reached after the arresting officer was activated by the military and ordered to Iraq, Segal said, adding that without the officer's testimony a trial would not have been possible.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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