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Forum News Service, Published July 01 2013

North Dakota state senator faces second alcohol-related driving charge

GRAND FORKS – North Dakota state Sen. Joe Miller, facing alcohol-related driving charges, called the incident last week “foolish” in light of a past alcohol offense.

Miller, 30, was charged last Tuesday in state district court in Grafton with speeding, having an open container and being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit, according to court records.

He said he always tries to be careful about drinking before getting behind the wheel.

In spite of these charges, Miller said he stands by his vote for Senate Bill 2240 in the recent legislative session and that tougher penalties for drunken driving are not “out of line,” he said. The law went into effect Monday in North Dakota.

Since 2007, Miller has also received a misdemeanor for reckless driving and two speeding violations, one for driving 70 mph in a 55-mph zone. He was also charged with having an open container in 2007.

He said that he wouldn’t drink and drive in the future.

But, he added, “I’ve said it before and I did it again.”

Miller is scheduled to make his initial appearance for the actual physical control charge July 22. He’s not making any announcements regarding his Senate seat because he’d like some time to think, he said.