State lawmaker pleads guilty to DWI charge

A DFL Minnesota state lawmaker has pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree DWI charge after being arrested last fall.

Brion Marie Curran, 38, admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol on Wednesday, court documents show. As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, the criminal complaint says Curran had a BAC of .16, twice the legal limit to drive.

Initially, Curran was charged with two counts of third-degree DWI, but prosecutors amended the second charge to fourth-degree DWI. As part of the agreement, the other charge will be dismissed.

RELATED: State lawmaker arrested on suspicion of DWI in Chisago County

According to the plea agreement, Curran’s sentence would be 90 days in jail, but of that time, 88 days will be stayed for up to two years of supervised probation. The lawmaker must also pay a total of $485 for fines and fees.

Court records show Curran is required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) panel as part of the sentencing. A document submitted under the court case shows Curran completed an 8-hour drug and alcohol education class in November.

Curran represents the communities of Birchwood Village, Gem Lake, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and parts of White Bear Township in House District 36B.

Curran’s office released the following statement following the plea:

“I accept responsibility for driving under the influence of alcohol. I regret my decisions and I am sincerely grateful that no one was hurt.

“I want to thank the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for ensuring my safety and the safety of others. I know that trust is earned and, once broken, is difficult to repair. Since October, in recognition of the seriousness of my actions, I have been attending courses and training related to the dangers of drunk driving. I’m sorry for the decisions I made, and by pleading guilty, I accept full responsibility.”

Representative Brion Curran (DFL- Vadnais Heights)

Two other state lawmakers were sentenced for DWI charges last year.

Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL-St. Cloud) was given two years of supervised probation in September with a stayed sentence of 45 days in jail, in line with his expected sentence following his guilty plea. Like Curran, he was also ordered to attend a MADD impact panel and fined a total of $485.

Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Grossell (R) was arrested in rural Clearwater County last February. As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, a citation shows his blood-alcohol level registered at 0.15. He was charged with three DWI charges.

Records show Grossell’s sentence is similar to both Wolgamott’s and Curran’s – two of the three charges were dismissed, while a judge ordered him to serve 90 days in the Clearwater County Jail. However, 89 days were stayed for two years, and he received one day of credit for time served. He was then put on two years of probation, pay $510 in fines and fees, and also attend a MADD impact panel.