Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat pleaded guilty Wednesday to drunken driving and was sentenced to two years of probation along with a suspended jail sentence as part of the plea agreement, court records show.

The 61-year-old Democrat was jailed the night of Oct. 5 in Dayton and charged with driving under the influence in connection with a traffic stop. Opat was first elected to the Hennepin County Board in 1992; he did not seek reelection in 2020.

According to the charges, Opat "failed to make a full and complete stop" at a stop sign at N. 113th Avenue and Fernbrook Lane, leading an officer to pull him over.

The criminal complaint said the officer who stopped Opat gave him a preliminary breath test, which measured his blood alcohol content at 0.093%, above the legal limit of .08% for driving in Minnesota.

As part of the agreement, Opat pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, fourth-degree DWI. His 30-day jail sentence is stayed unless he violates the other conditions of his sentence.

Other terms of the sentence include:

  • $378 in fines.
  • Two days of work for Minnesota's "Sentencing to Service" program, a sentencing alternative that puts "carefully selected, nonviolent offenders to work on community improvement projects" according to the program website.
  • A one-day DWI program and a chemical dependency evaluation.
  • Attend a victim impact panel from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
  • Maintain a valid license and insurance.
  • Must not commit a similar offense.
  • Cannot drive without insurance.

Opat's attorney, Paul Applebaum, has not responded to requests for comment.

Staff writer Kyeland Jackson contributed to this report.