Tax commissioner to plead guilty to drunken driving
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said Friday he had been arrested for drunken driving and would plead guilty.
The 34-year-old Republican said he was arrested by the North Dakota Highway Patrol in Mandan on Sept. 30. A report provided by Rauschenberger showed he had blood alcohol content of 0.206, which is more than twice the state’s 0.08 legal limit.
Highway Patrol Lt. Michael Roark said he could not release the arrest report or details of the case because it is under investigation.
Rauschenberger called The Associated Press to report his arrest. He said he was taking steps including treatment for alcoholism.
“I felt it was best in this situation, as a public official, to be out in front of it and be honest about it,” Rauschenberger said.
Rauschenberger said he was pulled over for driving erratically. He said no one else was in his vehicle.
Rauschenberger has an Oct. 31 court date. He faces up to two days in jail and a $750 fine.
Rauschenberger publicly revealed his alcoholism soon after he was appointed in 2014 by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple. He took a month of unpaid leave to seek treatment at a Minnesota facility that same year during a successful run to be elected to the post.
He said he had been seeking additional treatment since then but had let it lapse.
“I was feeling so good that I felt like I didn’t need it but that’s when bad things happen,” Rauschenberger said.
Rauschenberger, a certified public accountant, is the son of Ron Rauschenberger, former chief of staff to Dalrymple. The elder Rauschenberger also served as an adviser during Gov. Doug Burgum’s first few months in office.
“Ryan has taken full accountability and we fully support Ryan as he pursues his path to recovery,” Burgum said in a statement.