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Published July 23, 2013, 08:41 AM

North Dakota state senator pleads guilty to drunken driving

GRAFTON, N.D. (AP) — A state senator from northeastern North Dakota has pleaded guilty to alcohol-related driving charges.

GRAFTON, N.D. (AP) — A state senator from northeastern North Dakota has pleaded guilty to alcohol-related driving charges.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that Joe Miller, R-Park River, appeared Monday in state district court in Grafton. The 30-year-old farmer said he waived his right to trial because he knows he should not have been drinking and driving.

Miller was charged with speeding, having an open container of alcohol and being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while over the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08.

"My hope is that everyone can forgive me," Miller said.

He has paid $500 in fines and fees, and still must complete an educational program on driving under the influence and he must obtain an evaluation by a certified addiction counselor.

Miller was pulled over around 2:30 a.m. on June 21 for speeding near Park River. His blood-alcohol content was 0.13.

Miller has no plans to resign before his term ends in 2016.

"I think I'm very much capable of still being an effective legislator," he said.

Miller also was charged with drunken driving in 2007 but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and having an open container. He was given a suspended 20-day jail sentence and fined $500.

Miller, who has been in the state Senate since 2009, supported legislation this year aimed at strengthening penalties for drunken driving in North Dakota.

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