North Dakota Lawmakers Have Racked Up Seven Alcohol-Related Traffic Violations In The Last Decade

drunk driving

rbrabandtNews this morning is that Minot lawmaker Roger Brabandt, a Republican who represents District 5 in the state House, has pleaded guilty to DUI after hitting a car and a tree with his 2008 Impalla back in December.

His BAC level, according to the Minot Daily News, was .195 percent. The legal limit is .08.

“I don’t have a comment and I don’t have any excuse,” Brabandt told the Daily News. Since he represents an odd-numbered district Rep. Brabandt is not on the ballot this cycle.

He is just the latest state lawmaker to earn himself an alcohol-related driving offense, though. In fact, state lawmakers have racked up seven alcohol-related driving offenses in the last decade by my count.

To put that number into context, consider that the state in 2013 had about 87.3 DUI arrests per 10,000 drivers, by far the most in the nation.

Here’s the list:

joetmillerSenator Joe Miller, R-Park River

In 2013 Miller was convicted of DUI after being pulled over for speeding at 2:30am and blowing a .16 BAC. His passenger had marijuana and drug paraphernalia on him.

In 2007 Miller was convicted of reckless driving and open container as well.

skelshRepresentative Scot Kelsh, D-Fargo

State Rep. Scot Kelsh was arrested for DUI in November of 2013 in Fargo after being pulled over for speeding.

After his arrest he announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election.

dwranghamRep. Dwight Wrangham, R-Bismarck

In 2011 state Rep. Dwight Wrangham was convicted of DUI after running his car into a trailer hauling wrecked cars.

He was due for re-election in 2012 but did not run.

jboscheeRep. Josh Boschee, D-Fargo

Rep. Boschee’s infractions took place before he was elected to the Legislature in 2012.

In 2006 and 2010 he was convicted of reckless driving and ordered to chemical dependency evaluations after each incident. Boschee is on the ballot this year for a second term in office.

mischatzRep. Mike Schatz, R-New England

Rep. Schatz was convicted of DUI and open container in 2008, the same year he was first elected to the Legislature.

He was re-elected in 2012 and is currently running for a third term in 2016.

UPDATE: Initially this post cited a ND rate for DUI’s which I attributed to 2015. That was an error. The data was from 2013.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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