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Published April 11 2012

Mother in I-94 crash charged with DUI

FARGO – A Moorhead woman who had her 10-year-old daughter in the car when she allegedly caused a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 94 last month has been charged with driving under the influence while accompanied by a minor – though a breath test indicated she was under the legal limit.

If convicted, it will be the third DUI offense within five years for 40-year-old Nicole Amee Aasland, according to the Class A misdemeanor charge filed Tuesday in Cass County District Court.

North Dakota Highway Patrol reports say Aasland was en route from Moorhead to Fargo on March 23 when she rear-ended another car just west of the Red River, pushing that car into the path of a small SUV. No one was injured in the mid-afternoon accident.

In their reports, state troopers wrote that Aasland “looked extremely intoxicated,” was slurring her speech and needed help to avoid falling.

Sgt. Troy Hischer wrote that Aasland appeared to be so impaired, he told her family members “she was acting like she was three or four times the legal limit based on my experience with impaired drivers.”

At the Cass County Jail, Aasland consented to a breath test, which showed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent, under the 0.08 legal limit for driving, the patrol report states.

A trooper asked Aasland if she’d taken any medication other than alcohol, and she said no, the report states. The 10-year-old girl’s father told authorities that Aasland, his ex-wife, had been recovering from alcohol addiction for some time, the report states.

Aasland was released on $2,000 cash bail. Her arraignment is set for 9 a.m. today. Court records did not list an attorney for her yet.

If convicted, she faces a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail.

Court records show Aasland pleaded guilty to DUI in Cass County on Sept. 8, 2009, and to a driving while intoxicated charge in Clay County on Oct. 12, 2010.

A phone number listed for Aasland was disconnected when called Wednesday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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