BROOKLYN - U.S. Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) is charged with driving while intoxicated, which could be a major political snafu in this election year.

It's unclear whether Fossella failed a sobriety test or how officers found out that he was impaired, but the congressman was arrested in Alexandria, Va. early Thursday morning.

Fossella is scheduled to appear before a Virginia judge May 12. He released a statement Thursday saying: "Last night, I made an error in judgment. As a parent, I know that taking even one drink of alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car is wrong. I apologize to my family and the constituents of the 13th Congressional District."

The lawmaker, who is up for re-election this year, was elected to Congress during a special election in 1997. His district includes Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Gravesend and Staten Island.