Isle, Minnesota man arrested for DWI on a snowmobile

A Northern Minnesota man apparently had difficulty with the spark plug on his snowmobile on a trail near Isle, Minnesota. Law enforcement says that an anonymous tip alerted an Isle officer of an alleged stranded sled on the Soo Line Trail around 11:00 p.m. December 26.

The officer drove to an area where he could see a sled on the trail. The officer claims that he could see a snowmobile with its headlight on, but the sled apparently was not stranded. The officer claims the snowmobile appeared to be moving.

The officer continued watching the snowmobile for a period of time, according to a criminal complaint that alleges an Isle man was operating a snowmobile while impaired. The 27-year-old defendant is also accused of obstruction and fleeing, according to the Mille Lacs County Times.

It is important to note that Minnesota’s DWI laws extend beyond the roadways. A person can face drunk driving charges on allegations of operating-or being in control-of a motor vehicle anywhere in the state. The law prohibits drunk driving of a motor vehicle, which includes off road recreational vehicles and even motorboats throughout the state.

In the recent snowmobiling incident in Isle, law enforcement claims that the man turned off the headlight in the snowmobile while still on the trail. The officer says that a man got off the sled and walked toward the cop. Eventually, police say that the arresting officer could smell alcohol coming from the man police believe had been riding on the sled.

Authorities claim that the Isle man failed field sobriety tests. The Isle police officer called in a sheriff’s deputy to administer a preliminary breath test. While waiting for the deputy, authorities claim that the DWI suspect threatened to run from the officer. When the deputy arrived, law enforcement claims that the roadside breath test recorded a reading of 0.223 percent BAC.

Later, law enforcement sought to handcuff the man who was being arrested on suspicion of snowmobiling while impaired. Officials claim that the man stuffed his hands in his pockets and began backing away. The officer says that he had to tackle the Isle man, and as a struggle continued the officer threatened to use his Taser. He later fired the Taser, but says the defendant said it was not very strong and ran from police.

The Isle man now faces charges for gross misdemeanor obstruction of justice, misdemeanor DWI and fleeing on foot. He reportedly was released from custody without bond.

Source: Mille Lacs County Times, “DWI for Isle snowmobiler,” Dawn Slade, Jan. 8, 2013

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.