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North Dakota tax commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger

Tom Stromme

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger reached a plea agreement Wednesday in his driving under the influence case, the terms of which are "very typical," said an attorney familiar with such cases.

From the agreement, Rauschenberger will serve about a year of unsupervised probation with a 10-day suspended jail sentence and complete recommended treatment and a chemical dependency evaluation. He must also violate no laws the next year. He's already paid $1,250 in a fine and fees.

Speaking Monday morning, Rauschenberger said he understands the gravity of the situation.

"I felt it was important to be upfront about the issue and to disclose it and enter the plea of guilty," he said. "I stand beside that decision, as far as the actual charge."

He had been set for an initial appearance Tuesday, now canceled. 

Appointed in 2014 and elected as a Republican later that year, he also said he has not yet made a decision regarding reelection.

"In the coming weeks and month, I'll be making a decision about whether to run," he said.

Rauschenberger, 34, also said he plans to continue to focus on his work in the state tax department, as well as continuing care for his addiction treatment.

In a press release from earlier this month, he addressed his addiction to alcohol, which he said he has treated since 2014.

"I'll just say again, it was a poor decision on my part to one, drink, but also to drive, and I also understand the gravity in that, and I want to express my apologies for making that decision," Rauschenberger said.

Rauschenberger's DUI arrest was the night of Sept. 30 in Mandan.

Fargo attorney Mark Friese, of Vogel Law Firm, said Rauschenberger's disposition is "very typical" for first-time DUI cases.

"I took a look at his case, the charging documents and the plea agreement, and it's very consistent with how these cases are resolved," Friese said.

Morton County Assistant State's Attorney Austin Gunderson did not immediately return two messages Monday seeking comments.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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