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College students say legislators should not be immune from DWI charges

Students from Concordia University in St. Paul are working to change a provision in state law that gives Minnesota legislators immunity from drunk driving charges.

Under state law, Minnesota legislators have immunity from drunk driving charges, although apparently none has ever used the privilege to get out of  a DWI situation.

But a group of students from Concordia University in St. Paul don’t think that’s right and are working with legislators to change the law, says Don Davis of the Fargo Forum.

According to the story, the students found that the law was implemented “to keep lawmakers from being wrongfully arrested simply so they would miss an important vote or be unable to govern.”

The story says:

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It is unclear if legislators have used their protection to avoid drunken driving arrests.

“To our knowledge, state troopers have never encountered a situation where this provision was invoked,” said Bruce Gordon, Public Safety Department spokesman.

The students worked with state Rep. John Kriesel to help them through the process, as they found language that would clarify the law and, if passed, end the immunity.

Their provision passed a House committee and is headed to the floor for a vote, the story said.