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HELENA - A state lawmaker pleaded guilty Monday to drunken driving after being arrested over the weekend.

Red Lodge Rep. Scott Boggio's passenger was a fellow legislator who is a member of the Yellowstone County DUI Task Force.

Court records show Boggio, a Republican, had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent when he was arrested Saturday night. The legal limit in Montana is 0.08.

"Well, I guess that, you know, anyone who goes out to dinner and has a few drinks along with their meal can get a DUI," Boggio said Tuesday.

Boggio's passenger, Rep. Elsie Arntzen, R-Billings, is a member of the Yellowstone County DUI Task Force. She said Tuesday that she did not think Boggio was intoxicated when she got in the car with him after they had dinner. "I would have never done that," Arntzen said.

Police said Boggio was pulled over because the vehicle he was driving had no license plate and hit a curb when turning a corner.

An officer performed a sobriety test on Boggio before arresting him.

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On Monday, a Helena city judge fined Boggio $690 and ordered him to take an alcohol awareness class after Boggio pleaded guilty to driving under the influence per se. Boggio said it was his first DUI conviction.

The court dismissed a charge of driving without having proof of insurance.

Rep. Harry Klock, R-Harlowton, who owns the Ford Explorer that Boggio was driving, said the vehicle was new and its temporary license plates must have been ripped off shortly before Boggio was arrested.

Boggio was cited last fall by a Fish, Wildlife and Parks warden for the unauthorized shooting of an elk.

Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said Boggio is the first lawmaker to be arrested this session. McGee said he has seen several other lawmakers arrested in his 31 years on the force. "This is not the first," McGee said.

Copyright © 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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