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Forum staff reports, Published August 13 2012

Moorhead woman arrested with daughter in car pleads guilty to reckless driving

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 pleaded guilty on Monday to reckless driving.

Nicole Amee Aasland, 41, was initially charged with driving under the influence in connection with the March 23 crash, in which no one was injured.

North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers wrote in their report that Aasland “looked extremely intoxicated,” was slurring her words and needed help to avoid falling. But a breath test at the Cass County Jail showed her blood-alcohol concentration was 0.05 percent, under legal limit of 0.08 for driving.

That made it a difficult DUI case, Assistant State’s Attorney Tanya Johnson Martinez said, noting that under state law, someone with a BAC of 0.05 or less is presumed not to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

Aasland denied taking any medication other than alcohol.

“There was no evidence of anything else at all,” said her attorney, Mark Beauchene.

Aasland pleaded guilty Monday to an amended misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. She received a 30-day suspended jail sentence and 360 days of unsupervised probation and must pay $650 in fines and fees. She also must obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and follow its recommendations.