Bismarck lawmaker plans guilty plea for DUI

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck lawmaker apologized Wednesday for his arrest on a drunken driving charge and said he will plead guilty.

"I made some bad choices, and I will pay the piper and do better in the future," said Rep. Dwight Wrangham, R-Bismarck. "I feel sorry for the people I have let down."

Wrangham's attorney, Chad McCabe, said he had negotiated a plea agreement with Paul Fraase, the assistant Bismarck city attorney, under which Wrangham will pay a $400 fine, receive a 10-day suspended jail sentence and be placed on a year's unsupervised probation.

Wrangham must undergo an evaluation about his alcohol use as part of the agreement. A separate citation for failing to take proper care in operating a motor vehicle will be dismissed, according to the agreement.

Wrangham's plea will be made July 7 in Bismarck municipal court, McCabe said. The penalty in Wrangham's plea agreement is standard in Bismarck court for first-time DUI offenders, McCabe said.

"The judges give everybody the same sentence, typically, unless you're really out of the ballpark," McCabe said.

Bismarck police said Wrangham was driving his car Monday night on Bismarck's East Main Avenue when he collided with a trailer that was loaded with wrecked vehicles. Both Wrangham's car and the trailer, which was hooked to a truck, were heading west on Main when the truck slowed to make a right turn.

Wrangham said he had been attending a North Dakota House Republican fundraising golf tournament that day at the Apple Creek Country Club, which is about four miles east of Bismarck.

Wrangham, 65, was first elected to the North Dakota House in 2000. He is up for re-election in 2012.

His district includes eastern McLean County and parts of northwest Bismarck and rural Burleigh County.