The Potluck

DFL Rep. Wolgamott pleads guilty to DWI charge

By: - September 1, 2023 1:03 pm

House Speaker Pro-Tempore Dan Wolgamott hands the omnibus supplemental education finance and policy bill to Chief Clerk Pat Murphy on April 27. Photo by Paul Battaglia/Minnesota House Information.

Rep. Dan Wolgamott, DFL-St. Cloud, earlier this week admitted he was driving drunk in July when a state patrol trooper pulled him over and arrested him near Mora, Minn. 

Wolgamott, who is in his third legislative term, submitted a guilty plea in Kanabec County District Court to a 4th degree charge of driving above the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of .08. Wolgamott acknowledged that his BAC was .09 within two hours of driving his vehicle.

The DFL representative was charged with two DWI charges, but under the plea agreement the first charge will be dismissed and he will receive a 45-day jail sentence to be suspended for two years. He will also be required to pay a $400 fine and finish certain requirements, some of which he has already met — complete a chemical health assessment, complete an eight-hour alcohol abuse class and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel.

Wolgamott has apologized for the incident and said he takes full responsibility for his actions. 

“I take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my actions. I am grateful to all of my family, friends, colleagues and constituents who have shared their support,” Wolgamott said in a statement. “I will ensure that my actions live up to the trust you have placed in me as your state representative.”

On July 7, someone called in a complaint about a person drinking in a liquor store parking lot in Mora. The trooper later saw the car weaving within its own lane, according to the state patrol’s incident report. 

In security camera footage of the liquor store parking lot, Wolgamott appeared to take a drink out of a bottle, put it in his trunk, get back in his car and drive away.

Wolgamott has an initial hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Wolgamott is the House’s speaker pro tempore, meaning he occupied the House speaker’s seat and oversaw conversations on the floor when Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, was absent. He also was recently named the 2023 “legislator of the year” by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the state’s largest police group.

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Michelle Griffith
Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith covers Minnesota politics and policy for the Reformer, with a focus on marginalized communities. Most recently she was a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota where she covered state and local government and Indigenous issues.