Senate panel clarifies DWI immunity

Senate panel clarifies DWI immunity Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A state Senate committee has approved a measure that makes it clear -- legislators are not immune from a drunken driving arrest.

Students from Concordia University urged lawmakers to take up the issue after learning about legislative immunity. It protects lawmakers from arrest during legislative sessions, with a few exceptions. Concordia's Taylor Gittens told senators at Thursday's committee hearing the issue "is a big deal" to students.

The proposal that passed the committee includes drunken driving in the exceptions to "privilege from arrest."

The Star Tribune ( ) reports Sen. Julianne Ortman clarified that the privilege doesn't mean legislators are entirely off the hook. Ortman says if she were stopped for speeding to the Capitol, officers couldn't stop her from missing a vote, but they could mail her a ticket later.

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