Augare attorney asks judge to dismiss DUI charges
August 20, 2013
GREAT FALLS (AP) — An attorney representing a Blackfeet tribal leader accused of fleeing an officer during a drunken-driving stop has asked a judge to dismiss the charges.
Federal prosecutors have charged Blackfeet Tribal Business Council member and state Sen. Shannon Augare with misdemeanor counts of DUI, reckless driving and obstruction of a peace officer.
Tribal attorney Joe McKay says in Friday's motion to dismiss that the federal court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the case.
The tribe has its own law and order code that includes regulations for criminal conduct and traffic control.
McKay says the federal government's decision to prosecute Augare for victimless misdemeanor offenses on the reservation is an invasion of tribal sovereignty and could undermine the Blackfeet's authority.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong did not make an immediate ruling.