Crime and Courts

Jul 17, 2013 4:13 PM by MTN News

Montana state senator pleads not guilty to DUI, obstructing an officer

GREAT FALLS - Shannon Augare, a Montana State Senator from Browning, appeared in federal court in Great Falls on Tuesday to face charges of obstructing a peace officer, driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving.

Augare pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He faces up to six months in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release if he's convicted on the charges.

Montana Senate leadership asked Augare (D-Browning) to step back from his legislative duties last week while his DUI case is pending.

Senate President Jeff Essmann (R-Billings) called the charges "serious" and says he does not think it's appropriate for Augare to participate in interim legislative work.

Minority Leader Jon Sesso (D-Butte) says several legislators were pressuring Augare to step down from the committee and even resign as senator.

However, Sesso says until this case is resolved, Augare is being asked to temporarily stand down.

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