FORT COLLINS, Co.— Michele Bachmann, Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, was arrested early Tuesday morning in Fort Collins, Colorado for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. After reportedly running a red light and failing multiple sobriety tests, Bachmann was taken into custody and booked at the Fort Collins jail. She was released at 5 a.m. on $1,000 bail.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Rep. Bachmann was spending the holidays with her family in Colorado, and decided to indulge in cannabis consumption, following the state’s legalization of the drug on January 1st. Bachmann readily admitted to arresting officers that she had consumed marijuana that evening, but claimed that she did not know that it was illegal to drive under the influence.
Under Colorado law, drivers caught with 5 nanograms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in their bloodstream are considered too stoned to drive and are ticketed similarly to a person who was considered too drunk to drive. Sources indicated that Bachmann was “well above” the legal limit at the time of her arrest.
Bachmann has taken full responsibility for her actions and Tuesday evening issued a statement:
“I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this predicament. I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my constituents and any others who have put their trust in me. I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter.”
Well-known for her staunch advocacy of social conservatism, Bachmann’s views are less draconian on marijuana. In 2011, when asked about legalization of medical marijuana, Bachmann responded, “I don’t know if that’s something the federal government can weigh in on or not. I don’t know. I agree with state’s rights too, but I’m not sure if that’s something that has federal implications or not. I haven’t thought it through.”
The next court date in the case has not yet been scheduled. Rep. Bachmann’s office declined comment.