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Minn. Lawmaker On Probation For DWI Pulled Over

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Rep. Mark Buesgens (credit: Wright County Jail)

Rep. Mark Buesgens (credit: Wright County Jail)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Authorities have pulled over state lawmaker on probation for a drunken-driving offense in a possible violation of court conditions barring alcohol use and drinking and driving.

Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, was released on Wednesday with a warning after passing a blood alcohol test and field sobriety tests, Scott County Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said Thursday. The sheriff said a deputy who pulled Buesgens over after receiving a complaint and watching him miss a turn signal smelled alcohol on his breath. Studnicka said Buesgens acknowledged having two drinks.

Buesgens tested 0.008 on a blood alcohol test, significantly below the legal limit of 0.08.

Studnicka said he will report the traffic stop to Wright County, where court records show that Buesgens is on probation until November 2012. The sheriff said it’s up to probation authorities and a judge to determine whether Buesgens will face consequences for the incident.

Officials with Wright County Court Services and Scott County Probation/Community Corrections didn’t immediately respond to voice mail messages.

Buesgens referred questions to his lawyer, Ron Rosenbaum.

“He certainly accepts responsibility for having a drink,” Rosenbaum said, adding that Buesgens called his probation officer to report the drinking.

Rosenbaum said Buesgens completed alcohol treatment as part of his sentence for the DWI offense.

The seven-term lawmaker pleaded guilty last November to a drunken-driving charge after being stopped in September for driving his car in a ditch and failing sobriety tests. Buesgens resigned as chairman of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer’s campaign and as a consultant to the state Republican Party. He was re-elected by a wide margin last year.

GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers said in a statement that his caucus expects Buesgens to continue taking responsibility for his actions.

“We will support and pray for him in his recovery effort, and have requested that he seek additional professional evaluation and follow all recommended action,” Zellers said.

The Shakopee Valley News first reported the traffic stop.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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