BISMARCK — North Dakota Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot, is pleading guilty to driving under the influence after a late-night arrest near the end of this year's legislative session, his lawyer confirmed.
Louser, the assistant majority leader in the House of Representatives, was arrested between Bismarck and Mandan in April on suspicion of drunken driving. The lawmaker later pleaded not guilty and a trial was slated to begin this week. A Bismarck judge has now canceled the trial, according to court records.
Justin Vinje, Louser's lawyer, said his client "takes responsibility for his actions" and had the integrity to bring his misdeed to the public's attention on his own terms back in April. Louser released a statement a few days after his arrest announcing he was cited for drunken driving and noting that he wanted to be transparent and accountable regarding the incident.
Louser faces a Class B misdemeanor charge, which could carry up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, but Vinje declined to disclose details of the plea agreement.
An unnamed state trooper observed Louser's vehicle repeatedly straying from its lane on the expressway between Bismarck and Mandan and wrote in a report that Louser smelled like alcohol. The lawmaker then failed a field sobriety test and blew over the legal limit on a breathalyzer test.
Louser, a real estate agent, has been in the House for a decade and won his last bid for reelection in 2018 by a landslide margin.