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UPDATED: Rep. Craig Headland charged with DUI

Booking photo courtesy Stutsman County Correctional Center

A District 29 representative faces charges of driving under the influence after being stopped by the North Dakota Highway Patrol on Interstate 94 just before midnight Saturday.

Rep. Craig Headland, R-Montpelier, was issued a citation for DUI, a Class B misdemeanor, after a traffic stop near Spiritwood.

Headland was booked into the Stutsman County Correctional Center at 12:17 a.m. and released on $500 bond at 2:40 a.m., according to information from the correctional center.

“On Saturday, I had a terrible lapse in judgement and got behind the wheel of my car after drinking,” Headland said in an emailed statement in response to a Sun request for comment. “I am thankful that I did not hurt anyone and take full responsibility for my actions. I pledge to the people of my district that this will not happen again.”

Headland was initially elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 2002 from District 29. He is currently seeking re-election to a fifth term in the House.

In the past session of the Legislature, he chaired the House Finance and Taxation Committee and served on the House Agriculture Committee. He is also a member of the Government Finance, Taxation and Tribal Taxation Issues interim committees.

In 2015, Headland voted with the near unanimous majority to allow judges to sentence people convicted of DUI to participate in the 24/7 Sobriety Program. The bill also allowed judges to give credit during sentencing to individuals who participate in drug court programs.

In 2013, Headland initially voted in favor of HB1302 which increased penalties for drunk driving but voted against the version of the bill that came out of conference committee and became law.

Headland’s next scheduled court appearance is on Nov. 7, the day after the November general election.

If he pleads guilty or is convicted, Headland could be sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. Judges also have the authority to sentence people convicted of DUI to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation, complete recommended treatment. North Dakota Department of Transportation regulations also require a suspension of the driver’s license for people convicted of DUI. The length of time of the suspension depends on the amount of blood alcohol reported at the time of the arrest.

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