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Blackfeet judge expunges DUIs of senator’s brother

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Blackfeet judges say tribal law-enforcement officials have no duty to report drunken-driving and other traffic violations to the state.

The policy was enforced in November when Chief Judge Allie Edwards ruled the tribe’s reporting of two prior DUI convictions on the reservation violated Shawn Augare’s rights.

The ruling had the effect of reducing a felony charge for Augare’s fourth DUI to a misdemeanor.

Augare is the brother of state Sen. Shannon Augare. The Browning Democrat last month allegedly fled a sheriff’s deputy who suspected him of drunken driving.

The senator allegedly told the deputy he had no jurisdiction.

The cases of Shawn and Shannon Augare illustrate the difficult and sometimes confusing jurisdictional issues facing law-enforcement officers operating on or near Native American reservations.

Neither responded to calls for comment Monday.

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