A Farmington man is facing serious charges of fleeing police and driving while impaired based upon allegations of having a wet wallet in his pocket. The fleeing and DWI –or SWI, snowmobiling while impaired charges –follow a tip law enforcement received that a snowmobile was speeding near Pilot Knob Road on Nov. 19 around 8:00 p.m. A Dakota County Sheriff’s deputy and a Farmington Police officer converged on the area. The deputy claims he saw a black and green snowmobile with a person aboard wearing a coat that matched the color of the sled.
The snowmobile apparently disappeared through a field into the November night. Law enforcement claims they followed the snowmobile trail to a residence where someone apparently said the driver was a 35-year-old Farmington man. The snowmobile reportedly was submerged in a retaining pond in a field. Law enforcement says they found footprints near the submerged sled, but do not know whose footprints were near the machine.
Law enforcement searched the area and found no one in the vicinity of the sunken snowmobile. Nearly two-and-a-half hours after seeing a snowmobile disappear into the night, law enforcement went to another home where they say they believed the 35-year-old Farmington man was located.
Officers say the man did not appear to be under distress from the cold, but claim he showed signs of impairment and reportedly admitted to having consumed a couple of beers. Law enforcement claims they also found a wet green and black jacket that witnesses say belonged to the Farmington man. He reportedly denies having any knowledge of the alleged snowmobile incident that night.
Law enforcement claims that the Farmington man pulled out his wallet to retrieve his identification during the encounter. Officers further claim the wallet was wet.
Apparently the man submitted to a breath test sometime after the 10:20 p.m. encounter with police. Prosecutors claim in a criminal complaint that the breath test revealed an alcohol level of 0.14 percent. The complaint alleges that the accused has a prior DWI conviction on his record from 2009.
The man with the wet wallet has been charged with felony fleeing an officer and two counts of gross misdemeanor DWI. Minnesota law places a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 days on conviction for a DWI second offense.
Source: This Week Live, “Farmington man charged with fleeing police on a snowmobile,” Laura Adelmann, Nov. 28, 2011