State Senator Charged With Second Alcohol-Related Driving Offense


State Senator Joe Miller (R-Park River) was arrested and charged with speeding, open container and “actual physical control” on June 25th according to North Dakota’s statewide criminal database.

“Actual physical control” is defined on the North Dakota Highway Patrol website as “being in immediate control or having the ability to operate the motor vehicle while being under the influence or having a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more.” Basically, it’s driving under the influence without the driving.

This isn’t Senator Miller’s first run-in with an alcohol-related driving charge. During the legislative session, when policymakers were debating tougher DUI laws for the state (which, ironically enough, take effect today), I wrote about three legislators who had alcohol violations including Senator Miller.

Miller was convicted of reckless driving (it’s common practice for DUI charges to be plead down to reckless driving) and open container, in July of 2007 for which he received fines, probation and chemical dependency counseling. These previous charges came before Senator Miller was elected to the state Senate.

Senator Miller has an initial appearance related to these charges set for July 22nd in Walsh County.

Update: Here’s something weird: I thought “actual physical control” was a non-moving DUI offense, but Senator Miller was also charged with speeding. How does that work?

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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