BISMARCK — North Dakota’s top teacher was arrested last night for driving under the influence.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler was arrested shortly after 10:00 PM on Memorial Highway in Mandan and taken to the Burleigh County Detention Center. Baesler refused a breathalyzer and blood test, had no mugshot taken and was released shortly after.
Baesler, a self-proclaimed Catholic, somehow managed to get tanked relatively early into the evening on Ash Wednesday no less.
This is the second time Baesler has been arrested while serving in office. Baesler was arrested in 2015 for domestic violence, a charge which was later dropped.
Baesler joins a long list of “North Dakota Legendary” officials who have been arrested for DUI’s and impaired/reckless driving in North Dakota including Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger, Rep. Craig Headland, and Rep. Joshua Boschee.
Ryan Rauschenberger Tweeted Baesler this morning to congratulate her on her DUI achievement.
“It’s a tough job to get tanked by 10:00 PM on a Wednesday night in a relatively religious community, but Kirsten did it. Congratulations!”
The incident, however, seems to highlight that North Dakota officials and lawmakers are seemingly unaware of rideshare programs such as Uber and Lyft.
Baesler says she made an honest mistake and plans to roll out a new curriculum for K-12 students in North Dakota on how to navigate the criminal justice system given her extensive first-hand experience.
“I truly made an honest mistake for getting caught last night,” said Baesler. “I let the students down in North Dakota as well as their parents. As you all know, there are consequences for bad choices. For students, it means suspension, sometimes expulsion. And while I won’t be leaving my office anytime soon, I have suspended myself with pay from work as I seek guidance on an all-expense, tax-payer funded trip to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Recovery Center in Key West over the next few months. I’ll be working on a curriculum to help other lawbreakers navigate our criminal justice system. It’s not easy to find a judge who’s willing to appear in front of you on the weekend nor at midnight in the middle of the week so perhaps there’s a teaching moment here.”
Baesler is said to already be working on an album inspired by her latest incident titled “Ope! I Did It Again!”
In 2015, Baesler released her first solo album titled “Candles Through the Wind,” which was inspired by the true events that lead to her first arrest and later dismissal of charges.
Governor Burgum says Baesler’s ability to get tanked by 10:00 PM is having his office overhaul the Recovery Reinvented initiative.
“The First Lady and I were deeply troubled to learn that Kirsten Baesler was arrested last night for a DUI,” said Governor Burgum. “The incident highlights the very low standards we hold our elected officials to. Despite Kirsten’s latest incident, we’re confident voters will make the right decision to re-elect her, just as they have for DUI checkpoint king Ryan Rauschenberger. As a result of this recent incident, we’re renaming Recovery Reinvented to Republicans Reinvented: Curbing Addiction by Changing the Laws.”
The Governor’s office says they’ll be working closely with legislators to change the state’s laws as the blood-alcohol limit of .08 is much too low.
“Our low standards deserve low legislative standards, which is why we’ll be seeking to raise the BAC limit to .50,” says Burgum.
In addition, Burgum says his office will be encouraging lawmakers to change the law to seal DUI records one-hour after an offense. Lawmakers successfully changed the law this past session to seal DUI records after seven years.
“Finally, we’ll be working with the Attorney General’s office to provide all elected leaders with a ‘Get Out of Jail Card’ as we cannot have an efficient and transparent form of Government if our government officials are all in jail. We’ll be providing these cards to officials hours after their successful election bids.”
Despite the relatively low standards for North Dakota’s elected officials, there’s no word on if Alcoholics Anonymous plans to open a support center at the State Capitol.
More on this story as it develops.
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