A Park Rapids, Minnesota man has been sentenced to serve jail time followed by supervised probation after being convicted of felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle and second-degree driving while impaired charges. Two Minnesota conservation officers had claimed that the man took off after an attempted traffic stop this summer in Hubbard County.
The conservation officers reportedly were on patrol August 11, looking for hunters violating the law. Authorities say the wildlife officers were looking for possible hunting law violations, including possible night shining offenses. During the night-time patrol, the conservation officers claim that a 45-year-old Park Rapids man was driving slowly near an intersection.
The wildlife officials say that the car crossed the county line into Becker County. The officers claim that the car was weaving from side to side, failed to stop at a stop sign and made a turn without signaling.
The conservation officers say that that attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver hit the gas and fled. Authorities say that a high speed chase followed, which involved speeds of up to 85 miles per hour. Officials say the driver pulled into a field and around some trees in rural Becker County before abandoning the car. The Park Rapids man reportedly was later found on the ground in the woods.
Officials charged the man with second-degree DWI, asserting that he had two prior DWI convictions within 10 years of the August allegations. A second-degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense, and Minnesota law allows the charge to be brought for DWI offenses involving two or more aggravating factors, as this blog has previous discussed.
At sentencing, the judge imposed a sentence of 13 month in prison on the felony fleeing conviction, but stayed the prison time to probation. The man was ordered to serve 90-days, half of which can be served under house arrest. The judge sentenced the defendant to 365 days in jail on the DWI conviction, but stayed all but 90 days, which will run at the same time as the felony sentence. A second DWI count was dismissed at sentencing.
The probationary terms also highlight the harsh consequences that can follow a DWI conviction. The man will serve four years on supervised probation on the felony charge. The judge ordered the man to serve six years of supervised probation on the gross misdemeanor DWI conviction, according to Detroit Lakes Online.
Source: Detroit Lakes Online, “Man gets jail, probation for fleeing, DWI,” Dec. 28, 2012