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North Dakota superintendent of public instruction arrested for DUI

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Posted at 3:07 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 17:07:19-05

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Highway Patrol says State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler was driving erratically on I-94 shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday when she was pulled over.

Highway Patrol Spokesman Wade Kadrmas says the trooper stopped her vehicle on Memorial Highway in Mandan. The trooper could smell alcohol and observed the behavior of someone under the influence.

Baesler refused a breathalyzer and a blood test. The trooper arrested her for DUI and she was cited for “care required.”

According to North Dakota Highway Patrol, Baesler was booked into the Morton Burleigh Detention Center around 10:50 p.m. She was later released.

Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben told KX News that Baesler’s mug shot was not taken during her processing, and she was released shortly thereafter. Leben says this is very common in cases where bond is preset for misdemeanor offenses.

In a statement, Baesler said she made a “serious mistake.” She said she let her team at DPI, her family, and herself down – and said she’s “deeply sorry.” Baesler said she will seek help, and “learn from this.”

Baesler was first elected in November 2012. She had said she is seeking re-election.