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Originally published Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

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'American Idol's' Stefano Langone convicted of negligent driving in 2010

"American Idol" contestant Stefano Langone, of Kent, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in May 2010, King County District Court records show. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of first-degree negligent driving, a misdemeanor.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Most "American Idol" viewers know finalist Stefano Langone, of Kent, was seriously hurt in a 2009 wreck caused by a drunken driver.

What fans may not know is that the charming crooner was arrested last year on suspicion of driving under the influence.

King County District Court records show he was pulled over May 16 and arrested on suspicion of DUI. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to the lesser misdemeanor charge of first-degree negligent driving. He completed the terms of his sentence — including alcohol-information class and community service.

Court records indicate "Idol" producers verified in February the case was closed. Show representatives reached Wednesday had no comment on whether it would affect his status.

A State Patrol report provided details about the incident, including that Langone, then 21, sang from the back seat of a patrol car as he was taken to the patrol's Bellevue office. His blood-alcohol content was recorded at 0.094 and 0.088 percent. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

The report said Langone's car was going 85 mph on the Interstate 90 floating bridge just before 2:30 a.m.

Langone had trouble with sobriety tests and claimed to have had "one drink, sir."

Langone's two passengers got a ride home with another friend, the report says.

Now 22, he is one of 12 finalists remaining on "American Idol." His story of overcoming the crash that nearly killed him has been prominent on the talent show.

Seattle Times researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.

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