As a former city prosecutor and defense attorney, I have seen the heartache and chaos that drug and alcohol addiction can cause people and their families. Unfortunately, so many in North Dakota struggle with addiction and a lack of treatment options.

When a person has an active addiction, it impairs her judgment and causes those around her to question her judgment, truthfulness and safety. Driving under the influence of alcohol affects everyone’s safety; it can cause serious destruction, injury and death and that’s why it’s a crime to drive while impaired.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger’s recent DUI charge creates a serious issue of public safety. North Dakotans deserve to have accountable leaders in public office who exercise sound judgment and keep their constituents safe. Commissioner Rauschenberger’s judgment should be questioned as he put the public at great risk when he admittedly chose to operate a vehicle while seriously impaired by alcohol.

A person’s struggle with addiction isn’t a political issue; the only political issue is whether Rauschenberger and his party will agree that it’s best for him to step down from public office when his judgment is in question.

Jackie Stebbins, Bismarck

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