A Rochester man was arrested in suspicion of driving while impaired after a car accident at a Stillwater nursing home. Police claim the man stole his girlfriend’s sport utility vehicle and around 1:00 Sunday morning struck two cars in Stillwater, before running the SUV into a nursing home. The 31-year-old man may be facing serious charges, including felony motor vehicle theft, second degree DWI and criminal vehicular operation (CVO) related to the allegations. The second-degree DWI and the CVO charges the man may be facing are gross misdemeanor charges.
A spokesperson for the Stillwater nursing home says the SUV knocked out a window and a wall at the nursing home. The spokesperson says the SUV crashed into the room of two residents of the home. One of the residents reportedly suffered cuts and was treated at an area hospital and released. The second resident of the nursing home reportedly was not injured.
A sergeant with the Stillwater Police says the driver has prior DWIs on his record. Law enforcement claims the man was driving with a revoked license at the time of the accident.
In Minnesota, a felony charge is defined as any charge that carries a potential sentence of at least one-year-and-one-day. Gross misdemeanor charges expose a person to significant jail time as well. A person could be sentenced up to a year in jail for a gross misdemeanor conviction. Convictions for gross misdemeanor DWI offenses also carry mandatory minimum jail time. In additional to potential incarceration, DWI convictions have other consequences under Minnesota law.
Generally, Minnesota’s implied consent law allows for a person’s driver’s license to be revoked after a DWI arrest, even without a conviction for a Minnesota DWI charge. The license revocation can be challenged; however, an implied consent license revocation is a separate matter from the criminal DWI charges.
Source: Pioneer Press, “For smashing into nursing home, hurting one: DWI charges,” Dec. 11, 2011